The Palmer Harding AW12 collection is possibly one of the collections we were most excited about seeing the campaigns for. Completely in line with our "white" obsession and their flaire for beautiful detail and colour tones, we were completely obsessed with their SS12 collection campaign. Remember that stunning video with Matthew Bell? Check it out here to remind yourself. This time round, Palmer Harding brings in Jed Texas (Elite) and Hannah Noble to woo us with another absolutely stunning campaign video, featuring their beautiful AW12 pieces.
Jed and Hannah stars as two lovers separated by a large decaying wall, unable to reach for each other. As Palmer Harding puts it: "A blind ballet of arms and hands, each attempting to grasp each other and make contact". Directed by Malcom Pate and styled by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen, we simply think this video and AW12 collection overall is ah-mazing!
We are massive fans of your collections, like MASSIVE! Which we first came across when watching your SS12 campaign video with the lovely Matthew Bell. So we have to start by dwelling a little bit on what got us hooked into it all in the first place. Talk us through the SS12 video a bit, where the idea came from, and how it provides such a wonderful vision for what your first collection was all about?
Thank you for that, we're massive fans of Boys by Girls as well!
(BBG: Oh stop it you......you're ever so kind)
Our label, as you know, is a focused label. Our specialty is shirts. We try to breath the concept of innovation and excitement into our shirts, where as traditionally it has been a neglected garment. For SS12 we based our collection on the photography of Ingar Krauss and Madam Gres. We wanted to inject the innocence that Krauss was able to capture in her photographs of mislead youths, while retaining a sophistication in the detailing and craft that was found in Madam Gres draped masterpieces.
Our main focus for the video was that it captured these emotions and remained beautiful. Malcolm Pate, the director, actually came up with the video concept and story. His use of the Peppers Ghost technique was stunning and provided a seamless way to fuse the two genders of the brand into a singular vision. Again Malcolm and his entires teams skill was able to keep the hand craftsmanship in the films visual effects, where often now visual effects on film are usually computer generated. We liked that his work mirrored ours.
The "Pepper's Ghost" effect used in that video was so beautiful! How did you come about this idea to use it for your video?
Again it was something that Malcolm pitched at us. He loved the honestly of hand craftsmanship in the film, and thought it could convey the subtle love story well without having it feel too staged.
There is a lot of white in your SS12 collection. What was your influences and the overall inspiration for that collection?
For most people when one thinks of a shirt you picture it in your head being in white. We wanted to run with this idea of familiarity and not be too confrontational with our overall collection. White formed a perfect canvas for us to develop details and shapes further as well.
We recently saw your Autumn Winter 2012 collection at London Fashion week and are equally impressed! The colour palette and detail in your new collection is also exquisite. Talk us through colour choices for this collection?
AW12's colour palette was mineral based. We drew a lot from the colours found in stones.
Where did inspiration come from for the AW12 collection?
The main inspirations came from the wooden sculptures of Bruno Walpoth and blended with the intangible emotion and stark contrast in George Platt Lynes' photography.
We also found inspiration in archival shirting from the early 20th century. We are both huge fans of the American heritage shirting brand Arrow Shirts (eu.arrowshirts.com) and the advertisement work J.C. Leyendecker. We are fortunate enough to possess about 20 different styles of Arrow detachable collars from the early 20's, which at the time were sold singularly. This was also the golden era for the Arrow Shirts brand and it's advertising. We also have a few Arrow shirts from this period and earlier which have amazing detail and finishing. For our AW12 collection we referenced one of the vintage Arrow detachable collars and based our men's and women's collar and stand shape around it to make it modern, but with a familiar nod to history. The longer shirting shapes were also developed from this archival reference.
Your use of colour is obviously important in your collections (especially since you coloured Matthew's hair for the first video, which was rather genious btw). We are curious to know more about your theory around the use of colour?
Colour for us must have an instant emotional response. It should either excite you or make you feel calm, ect. But one thing it must not do is allow you to pass right by it. If there is no connection, then the colour has not served its purpose, and for us this is the most important thing for colour. To serve its purpose and connect with the viewer.
Ten points for choice of models! We are big fans of both Matthew Bell and Jed Texas. How do you feel they both brought something special to the videos you created?
Well, I wish we could take full credit for the choice, but most of the credit needs to go to Elite London and our stylist Anders Sølvsten Thomsen who cast the models in the video. Of course we made final decisions, but both Elite and Anders have good taste in models, and Jed Texas and Matthew Bell both own a beauty that can stop you in your tracks.
Talk us through your AW12 video that includes Jed. What was the idea behind this? We adore this and will watch it with equal obsession as your SS12 video.
Again Malcolm's concept. We showed him our inspiration wall, which was full of contrast and texture, and he decided to take that concept literally and create a wall of texture in which our two lovers find their way though to embrace and connect for the first time. Though he did this with the signature Pate twist, and made that connect feel quite surreal and unexpected.
Do you have any obsessions, and if so how does that effect your collections?
We both love contemporary art and try to visit as many galleries as possible. I think this is one of the things that allows us to keep a modernity in our collections. Of coure we also love finding rare vintage shirts, and this also feeds into the aesthetic. The end result for us is best when the garment feels contemporary yet somehow familiar.
Your collections are so beautiful, fashionable, yet wearable. Where can people buy your clothes?
For SS12 we are stocked at Avenue32.com online, Concento in Tokyo, and Joyce in Hong Kong. The AW12 collection will be available in many other stores as well including Ikram Chicago, Louis Boston, Havana in Dublin, Nitty Gritty in Stockholm and many others. You'll need to check out the full list later in the season....I don't want to bore you rambling on about them all!
Do you have any tips for budding designers out there?
Stay focused, remember that the end result is to dress people and don't let your ego rule your design.
What can we expect next from Palmer Harding?
To continue to push the boundaries of what a shirt can be.
Thank you for taking the time to answer all our quriosities about your collections Palmer Harding! For more information on their collections you can check out their website at www.palmerharding.com.
Also check out their AW12 colection on www.vogue.it.
Introduction and interview: Cecilie Harris