N Palmer Spring Summer 2022 at London Fashion Week

For his sophomore collection, designer Nicholas Palmer addresses the challenge of bringing his eponymous label from its origins during lockdown to a strong position in a new and changed world that is emerging from the pandemic. N Palmer was born from Palmer’s commitment to sustainability and his goal of creating garments that exude positivity. The N Palmer SS22 collection continues this vision, employing only vintage and dead-stock materials in a new collection that emphasizes optimistic, beautiful responses to the problems of materialism.

Forty-five kilograms of striped shirts; 100 vintage silk scarves; over 1000 vintage pins and badges; a plethora of original 1970s deadstock graphic transfers; and a personal archive of vintage mid-century metallic fabrics, upcycled clothes and bed linens have been used in the collection and saved from landfill. The ease of obtaining these volumes of materials poses the question, what will happen to all of our treasures? Being outlived and haunted by one’s possessions was something that Palmer found most intriguing when designing. He wondered about the previous owner of the materials he collected and why they decided to part ways with these ephemeral artefacts.

Titled Collection 2, this season Palmer uses the cyclical nature of his materials as a key source of inspiration. Mirroring the recurrent use of the materials, Palmer also looks to the reoccurrence of trends and fashions; flares, tie-dye and the styling prevalent in fashion today were present in the 2000’s and before then, the 60’s and 70’s.

The cyclical nature of fashion and the persistence of materials from eras past took Palmer down a path of paying homage to summers gone. Striped patchwork shirts, made from up-cycled striped dress shirts, take reference from striped beach chairs and the “dazzle” camouflage used on WWII naval ships. Other pieces in the collection take shape in the form of hot pants, silk wrap tops, and vintage T-shirt transfers re-contextualized on dress shirts inspired by 1970s Meryl Meisler photos of The Fire Island Pines and its visitors and by the fashions of Mick Jagger in the 70s, which Palmer sees as one of the most free-spirited eras of expression.

Several pieces this season borrow from vintage sailor uniforms of the mid 20th century, including shirting with low-cut necklines and square collars as well as trousers with the traditional broad-front fly, which has been modernised with exposed zips down each leg for a streamlined 13-button salute. While some view the nautical references as a ubiquitous summer inspiration, Palmer uses these and flashes of metallic lame as a discreet reference to the drag balls that would take place below the decks of passenger cruises, merchant marine ships and even the Royal Navy in the mid 20th century, as documented by Paul Baker and Jo Stanley in Hello Sailor.

This season sees N Palmer develop from its initial offering of only shirts and knitwear. The brand introduces outerwear and trousers, all formed from dead-stock and upcycled materials; coat linings made from vintage scarves; and bias tape and pockets from bed linens, with textiles collected by Palmer over the years.

Nicholas Palmer, a 2018 graduate of the Central Saint Martins’ MA Fashion programme, launched his eponymous brand, N Palmer, in the summer of 2020. In his designs, Palmer pays exceptional attention to an understanding of construction and to the history of the vintage pieces he uses within his garments. His vision for creating stylish, fashion-forward menswear, together with his appreciation of the history of fashion and of the opportunities afforded by new construction technologies, is what deeply inspires him to design.

All images courtesy of N Palmer

Creative Director: Nicholas Palmer Photographer and Master of Ceremonies: Willow Williams 1st photography assistant: Sarah Merritt 2nd photography assistant: James Barretts Styling: Jordan Dean Schnider Styling Assistants: Sophie Casha & Jon Wallner Hair : Toni and Guy Makeup: by Jenny Green DOP ,Editor and Soundtrack: Benjamin Charlton Retouching: Adam Reinbach Models Babs and Koshin at NAMED Models Glasses : Cubitts Shoes: Good News

Special Thanks to: God’s own Junkyard, Village, Good News Shoes, Cubitts, Fabrika, Nona Source, EsceTex, David Equiza and of course my parents.

To everyone who helped make this collection and shoot possible I am beyond grateful and thankful for all your hard work in creating this and hope you are as proud of this as I am.

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