The legendary designer impressed as always with his uniquely tailored view on elegant summer dressing.
Changing His Stripes
Paul Smith has been quietly tinkering with his iconic brand. So quietly, in fact, you may not have heard him do it. He withdrew his famous multi-stripe a few years ago and has, since then, been pushing his designs in a slightly more progressive direction: his SS16 menswear collection was luxuriously flowing with long, slouchy jackets and wider trousers that felt like a valuable addition to the 70s-inspired movement we’ve seen so much of lately. This gently directional flavour was present in the women’s show as well, which featured plenty of his signature trouser suits except that this time they were a little looser, double breasted and quietly chic (even in a near-Klein blue).
Generally, the execution of lively colours was refined, coming across as attractively eccentric rather than garishly flash – Paul Smith’s trademark in many ways. A cropped sleeve, collarless wrap coat came in a glossy tangerine shade that felt elegant against simple white trousers while painterly pops of colour in lightly patterned dresses were muted by the soft, graceful cuts: nothing overdone, nothing in excess.
The most original piece came in the form of a dungaree-dress-trouser hybrid that finished off a rakishly high-waisted pant-suit with crossover straps up top. It sounds strange in print, but looked great in reality when placed over a vivid t shirt to shake up a sleek black ensemble that was part formal, part louche. Refinement was the watch word, and that’s certainly no bad thing amid the PVC-charged politicism that accompanies much of LFW – though of course, we love that as well.
Photographer: Thurstan Redding
Words: Benji Walters