Paul Smith – Spring/Summer ’19 Show
03 July 2018
With nods to the past and techniques from the present, Paul Smith presents a spring/summer ’19 collection that centres on modern tailoring for men and women.
“I’ve witnessed tailoring go through lots of trends in my career”, said Paul as he prepared for his spring/summer ’19 show, “big shoulders, big lapels and even bigger checks, wacky colours, weird buttons and even more.”
Paul has seen it all come and go but he has always believed in the relevance and practicality of tailoring. A Paul Smith suit is designed to be worn, not hung in a wardrobe and dusted off once a year for special occasions. At a time when sportswear dominates the fashion landscape, Paul stands by tailoring. “Suits are at the heart of the Paul Smith world and I’m very proud of that”, he says.
Part of Paul’s commitment to tailoring includes a desire to improve on the past. For spring/summer ’19, jacket shapes from the 1980s are revisited, with exaggerated lapels and boxy silhouettes, but this is far more than an exercise in nostalgia. “Some of the shapes may be familiar from tailoring trends gone-by”, he says, “but one thing that’s uniquely modern is the construction.”
If you want to see Paul’s eyes light up ask him to talk, in detail, about fabric. This new tailoring is a topic that excites him. “Where once cloths were 500 grams and jackets could almost stand up on their own because of the weight of the fabric, now they’re more like 200 grams”, he says. “They’re lightweight and versatile”.
Beyond the tailoring, another of Paul’s passions is expressed through the collection’s prints. Having pioneered the use of photo print early in his career, Paul revisits the technique while adding a personal touch. The new spring/summer ’19 graphics have been created using photographs from Paul’s archive, taken by Paul and his father Harold. These original images have been manipulated and washed with soft pastel colours to create unique prints that appear on outerwear for men and as a more painterly style on fluid dresses and coats for women.
The influence of London’s rich and diverse music history is never far away from a Paul Smith collection. This time, checkerboard patterns on knitwear and socks find their roots in the Ska and Two-tone movements of the ’70s and ’80s that fused Caribbean culture with punk rock. Or maybe they’re finish lines, referencing Paul’s cycling obsession, which is also expressed through colourful polka dot cycling jerseys.
Music was also on Paul’s mind when he selected the show venue. The Élysée Montmartre is a famous Parisian venue that has played host to David Bowie, Daft Punk and Björk over the years. “Inspired by the musical association of the venue I’ve fly-postered the surrounding area with prints from the new collection”, says Paul.
Finally, the collection was a celebration of British design, right down to the fine details. Traditional British footwear styles, including loafers and Chelsea boots, were twisted in proportion and shape to create something new. Plus, an all-British eyewear collaboration debuted on the Paris Fashion Week runway: Cutler and Gross + Paul Smith.
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