Central Saint Martins-trained Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding launched their label in 2012 and focused on one wardrobe necessity: the shirt. The duo have continued to reinvent the classic shirt through draping techniques and distinct pattern cutting, reinventing it season after season. "Typically these new ideas spawn from draped silhouettes and sketch developments inspired by contemporary art," explains Harding.

The shirt might be for everyone, but who is the Palmer Harding woman? "We get asked this often and really the answer is every woman. It sounds as if we don’t know our customer but since launching our e-commerce last year, we have seen that our woman varies from young to mature and has a varied lifestyle. Some are students, some are CEOs, some are size 6, and others are 16. What they have in common is that they all have a passion for style and appreciate the versatility of a good shirt.”

Palmer//Harding Spring Summer 2017

The brand cemented itself as a staple when the two collaborated with John Lewis this June. “They asked us to create five shirts based on our signature style of volume and clever pattern cutting. It's been received extremely well – even the Prime Minister is a customer now!” Since its beginning, Palmer//Harding have been awarded the Newgen sponsorship by the British Fashion Council and Topshop and have become finalists for the prestigious Andam award in Paris.

For Spring Summer 2017, it was all about playing with bold stripes and rewriting the brand’s signature codes. "We wanted to build on the language that our Autumn Winter 2016 collection had suggested, which is the concept of functional layering and movement,” says Palmer. Obviously with a spring collection, layering had to be presented in a way that was light. So we created lots of design elements that captured the wind and used that movement of the garment as a styling point.” Artists like Matthew King and J.C Leyendecker influenced the duo.

Palmer//Harding Spring Summer 2017

"We used Leyendecker to build our colour pallet. He actually has a rich heritage in shirting. He created the first sex symbol in advertising by painting his boyfriend for the famous ARROW COLLAR MAN advertisements of the 1910’s and 20’s so it was a nice nod to the heritage of shirting as well."

We speak to the design duo to find out how they'll be spending their week

MONDAY - Nuffield Gym (4 Cousin Lane, EC4R 3XJ)

Levi: As an American, Monday is when I will be writing and posting my absentee vote for the presidential elections. This year, it’s too important not to vote, and if Brexit has taught us anything it’s that we all have to be involved and not rest on the laurels of common sense.

Matthew: For me, Mondays are a desk day where I catch up on emails from suppliers and stores to make sure everything is ticking along in an orderly fashion. Levi and I also go to the gym four to five times a week. We go to Nuffield off Curtain Road and are lucky as it is a three-minute walk from the studio so we can pop out mid afternoon when the gyms are less busy.

TUESDAY - Somerset House (Strand, WC2R 1LA)

The British Fashion Council has regular workshops for designers to learn about varied aspects of business. Tuesday is on human resources and leadership skills so I will be here in the morning. The BFC is at Somerset house which always has amazing exhibitions so I will probably take the time to see what’s on before heading back to the studio.

WEDNESDAY - Opening Doors London (Bloomsbury)

Levi: In the evening I have a meeting with Opening Doors London in Tavistock Square which is a charity I am part of that befriends elderly LGBT persons in London. I’ve been a part of this charity for a few months now and find it so rewarding every time I take part.

THURSDAY - Textile Fair + The Barbican (Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS)

We will spend most of the day at a textile fair in Angel finding new suppliers and looking for some fabric inspirations for Autumn Winter 2017 and Resort 2017/2018 as well as meeting manufactures to expand our supply chain. In the evening, we might pop down to the Barbican to watch the Louis Theroux documentary on Scientology. He’s an amazing interviewer and documentary maker  and we adore the Barbican.

FRIDAY - Sadler’s Wells (Rosebery Ave, EC1R 4TN) 

We will have dinner and head over to Sadler’s Wells to see Candoco Dance Company perform a double bill. We love contemporary dance and Sadler’s Wells always has the most extraordinary performances.