Palmer Harding Resort 2025 Collection

There was a storm brewing above Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding’s studio in east London, where the designers were reflecting on a perhaps even gloomier climate for independent fashion brands like theirs. In the six months since Palmer Harding released its fall 2024 collection, the British e-commerce giant Matches fell into administration, causing substantial losses for the boutique labels it once stocked. But 13 years in fashion has taught this duo to prepare their own life rafts, and the preemptive development of a successful direct-to-consumer business will keep them smooth sailing.

And what could be more spirit raising on these downcast days than a budding romance? Palmer and Harding—who are partners in both life and work—are in the throes of a blossoming polyamorous relationship. “Finding who we are outside of each other has strengthened our bond,” said Harding. “It’s been a beautiful evolution.” The duo’s resort collection was an expression of all the stomach-soaring endorphins that have arisen during the past few months of this arrangement. The pleats on architectural denim jackets pressed into the butterflies of the stomach; double ties on emerald crepe dresses cinched the waist to suggest the meeting of two bodies; shirt plackets and neck holes were angled as if to trace the frenetic pace of a crush. These secret details were almost always juxtaposed with outsized, sculptured silhouettes that felt just as expansive as any relationship on the rise.

In the tradition of the artist Richard Serra, Palmer and Harding start each collection with a list of verbal cues—this time running the gamut of “entwined” and “confession” and “vulnerable”—but there was another catalyst in the mix here. Harding’s new flame contributed two spontaneous line drawings to represent his own feelings around their early encounters—nervous scribbles bursting into soaring drags of graphite—that informed the “fit and release” construction of a belted and bat-winged shirt dress, a nip-waisted gown in silver lamé and a back-draped button down. “It’s strange,” Palmer said of this additional influence. “Because I tend to write the collection notes, and so I’ll send texts like, ‘Hey! Today I’m writing about yours and Matthew’s relationship!’ It’s a little out of the box, but we think it’s healthier to communicate.” These are big emotions, but the clothes wore them lightly.

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