Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding took a step away from the London Fashion Week schedule this season to focus on refining their brand’s digital footprint. Feeling that images generated through presentations or catwalk shows don’t display the brand in the best way, they showed the spring 2020 collection at appointments at their London studio.
The designers explained that they were interested in the line where optimism and pessimism meet, and inspired by the hyper-real photographs of William Eggleston, who was famous for his saturated portrayals of the mundane, and images of derelict post-Soviet bus stops.
“It’s a fine balance,” said Palmer. “If you’re too optimistic you might get sideswiped by disaster but if you’re too pessimistic you’ll see bad in everything and go crazy.”
They translated this balancing act into a collection that played upon their strength in suiting while also stepping into new territory with a floral print and some great tailoring options.
The strong graphic lines of the Soviet-era bus stops were translated into complicated (but appealing) diamond pleats which were used at the waist of shirts and on the waistband of shorts, the latter of which looked chic in a playful blue and yellow check, worn with a crisp white shirt that had full sleeves and a tie at the collar.
Contrasting the Soviet references was a nautical, Côte-d’Azur vibe, thanks to graphic red and white stripes, which came in pieces including a full-length, sleeveless and voluminous shirt dress with a ruffle at the hem.
The evolution in tailoring was evident in pieces like a melon jacket that was cut to look tailored at the waist, though with a roomy batwing sleeve and a blouson back.
They ventured into the world of florals, debuting a macro print of white chrysanthemums and pink lilies on a rich vermillion background, cut through with blank shapes lifted from the silhouette of bus stops.