paul smith autumn/winter 15

Sir Paul presents his suit to travel, and backflip, in.

by Anders Christian Madsen
Jan 13 2015, 2:30pm

One of the biggest challenges for designers (and guests) in a fashion week with as much tailoring as LC:M is to distinguish one suit from the other: how is it cut, what is it made of, and what does that do to the fit and the wearability? It was a challenge solved with flying colours by Sir Paul Smith at the Savile Row presentation of his Paul Smith London line on Monday morning, where all he showed was the 'Soho' suit in navy, but on a theatricality and information level so high it had guests staying for hours. 

"We wanted to do something that was very focused, and as we are famous for our suits and sell an awful lot of them, and as I've been developing this fabric, which is amazing for travelling in, I wanted to show it in a way that wasn't on a hanger," Sir Paul said, as suit-clad, very un-circus-looking circus artists and Olympic medallist Max Whitlock performed the kind of masterly acrobatics that could land you a pretty serious concussion.

What the house wanted to convey with the performance were the superpowers of the suit: its moveability and durability. And suffice to say, you couldn't have done what those artists did in most regular tailoring. (Sir Paul assured us that he hadn't even sewn spandex into the crotch areas the way you'd normally do with stagewear.) Inside the trousers were tiny rubber bands referred to as shirt retainers, making sure the shirt never crawls out of the trouser - not even if you do a couple of backflips in them, should you be so inclined. And it didn't stop at that. 

"Say you're sitting on an airplane or on a train," Sir Paul said during his interview with i-D and took off his own jacket. He then folded it up into a perfect ball and watched it unfold and effectively iron out its own creases. "And it's got this finish that if someone spills something on you," he said and grabbed a glass of water from the bar, which he proceeded to pour onto his jackef, "you still get off in the other end looking great." Needless to say, the fabric completely repelled the water. As a collection Sir Paul's LCM instalment was brilliant, in the most intelligent meaning of the term--as a show, it was pure genius.


Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Mitchell Sams

Paul Smith
London Collections: Men
autumn/winter 15
aw 15
london menswear
a suit to travel
soho suit