Sir Paul presents a psychedelic 70s collection of pinks, blues, florals and graphics.
The Tom Verlaine and Television soundtrack at Paul Smith left little doubt as to what inspired the spring/summer 15 collection. Following last season’s tribute to Jim Morrison, Sir Paul dug deeper into the 70s and found, in Television, art punk and a rebellious kind of opulence. “When I was a young man, Saint Laurent was making satin suits and that was a time when wearing a fabric like that was considered very different to what it is today,” he told i-D after the show, referring to the collection’s heavy satin suits, trousers, and shorts.
The designer has been restructuring his empire over the past year and transferring his tailoring to Paul Smith London, giving way to a new era for his main line. “It’s moved on in a brave way,” Sir Paul said backstage, and he wasn’t just talking business. The collection was even bolder than last season: pinks, blues, florals, graphics, and a hint of something slightly psychedelic. But it was still innately Paul Smith. “You can play by putting a very kitsch t-shirt underneath. Or a very classic one,” he noted.
The circular catwalk at Paris’ Bourse de Commerce was lined with green plants, complementing the faintly subtropical theme in the collection, but there was more to the story. In his studio in London, Sir Paul had been noticing how a lot of his young staff had started getting plants and growing vegetables in their gardens instead of flowers, and growing herbs in their window boxes and baking bread. “I thought it was really interesting,” he said.
“Twelve or fourteen years ago, if you talked to young people about gardening or baking bread, they’d have been very surprised. So I can see there’s a real move back to people doing something that’s more down to earth, and probably as a reaction against all the homogenisation in the world. Brands are just doing the same thing; they’re so powerful. And people are just saying, ‘Come on, let’s remember why we’re here on the Earth and maybe we can do things that are a little bit more gentle’,” Sir Paul said, echoing the 70s messages represented in the collection. It was an awesome message from an ever-evolving designer, and a brilliant second chapter in the new age of Paul Smith.