Paul Smith looked at the colourful sixties for SS17.
Notting Hill Circa ‘66
Referencing a time when freedom was in the air and everyone was just having a good time, Paul Smith adopted 1960s tailoring elements and styles to create his SS17 collection. Looking back on his first few trips to London during the 1960s, and the legendary Notting Hill Carnival that started in 1966, Paul Smith adapted those famous sixties styles into something more contemporary. Using modern, lightweight construction techniques and breathable Italian wools, he fused tailoring and sportswear shapes to create a modern take on that Notting Hill Carnival spirit.
Colourful clothes are a Paul Smith trademark. Never one to shy away from the brightest of hues, for SS17 Paul Smith thought it important to brighten up our lives in these dark and stressful times. West Indian warmth was spread through the collection, with yellow, green and red hues forming brightly coloured stripes and tropical tartans. Suits in bright orange, green, yellow and purple were some of the highlights, along with multi-pocketed jumpsuits in midnight blue, a strawberry-embroidered olive jacket and blue jeans with rainbow patches and flower embroidery. Even the catwalk was punchy and elated, formed of one long, sweeping rainbow stripe: appropriate, purposefully or otherwise, given the show coincided with Pride celebrations in the UK.
Peace and Positivity
The season’s unapologetic message was peace and positivity. His bold graphic print was a hope that next year will be happier and less turbulent than the one we’re living through, a message that was spread throughout this collection (some of the models even cracked a smile: a rarity at the usually po-faced fashion week). The casting of those models mirrored the multi-cultural reality of London, and together with the sportswear shapes, reflected the contemporary world that longtime tweaker-of-tradition Smith is helping to make a brighter, happier and more colourful place for SS17.
Words: Annabel Lunnon