Confidently embracing the codes first embodied by Paul’s designs in the 70s and 80s, the collection pays homage to the idea of the handsome woman, and draws on the wardrobe of Paul’s wife Pauline Denyer Smith. With nods to New Romance, it is a representation of the authoritative and sophisticated femininity Paul Smith originally created from his men’s collections, and a reinterpretation of the techniques and trademarks he trailblazed in the early years of his career
“I was revisiting my roots, really,” Smith said, greeting press in typically jocular fashion after the show, in the college’s library, temporarily requisitioned for racks of clothes and make-up. “You see that apple shirt?” he gestured at a silk shirt printed with glossy red apples. “I did that in 1982.” The repeating paisley print – which appeared appliquéd on to black coats, in a squiggly monochrome on jackets and trousers, and wandering across suiting – was another self-referential element.
Formal coats are given raglan sleeves for a rounded shoulder and strong silhouette, and shearling details emphasize a focus on texture. Classic shift dresses are readdressed
through colour and embroidery but maintain a tailored structure. Further exploring the use of appliqué, the Concertina bag is emblazoned with floral patches – echoed
on scarves. He also included a multi-coloured brocade suit, one in lurex, one in poplin, as a nod to his print heritage, which jostled for attention alongside his familiar relaxed suiting silhouette in rosy pinks and navy with pops of tomato red.
I absolutely loved the show and cant wait to get my hands on this collection!