One of the nicest men in fashion and great supporter of TheChicGeek, Paul Smith, has a new exhibition at the Design Museum. 'Hello My Name is Paul Smith' invites you into his world of creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty, it looks to the future as well as celebrating his career to date. The exhibition references Paul Smith's influences and fashion designs and charts the rise of one of the Britain's leading fashion brands.
Left - Paul is very popular in Japan!
The exhibition draws on Paul Smith’s personal archive, from the company’s beginnings in Nottingham to its international prominence today. The exhibition explores how Paul Smith’s intuitive take on design, together with an understanding of the roles of designer and retailer, have laid the foundations for the company’s lasting success.
'Hello My Name is Paul Smith' takes visitors on a journey through Paul Smith’s world. The exhibition showcases and celebrates the brand through collections selected by Paul. The different stages of design and production is explored, offering a rich insight into his design process and highlighting how the principles of traditional craftsmanship of tailoring and techniques are retained, but given a contemporary edge.
Right - Paul wanted to be a professional cyclist until he turned his hand and eye to fashion
Paul Smith’s first shop in Byard Lane, Nottingham, which measured 3m x 3m, is recreated in the exhibition alongside an immersive digital room rich in still and moving image.
The exhibition includes a recreation of Paul’s personal office, containing a myriad of books and objects that are a continual source of inspiration. Projections, audio and film clips from fashion shows and behind-the-scenes reveal the inner workings and influences of the Paul Smith brand. Showcasing a selection of jewellery, books, art and antiques that complement the clothing collections, every Paul Smith shop is unique.
Left - Paul in his first shop
From humble beginnings in a Paris hotel suite in 1976, the company now shows seasonally in London and Paris fashion weeks and includes fourteen different collections.
Until 9th March 2014
Colour blocking has been traditionally about wearing different items in solid blocks of colour. For this season, designers mixed it up a little - read a lot! - by using different coloured inserts in individual pieces. Designers such as Wooyoungmi, Neil Barrett, Oliver Spencer, Alexander McQueen and Hardy Amies all produced tailoring with strong blocks of horizontal stripes or bold contrasting inserts.
Chic Geek Tip - Stick to a neutral palette or risk looking like a walking game of Tetris.
Left - Be in the pink with this jacket from Wooyoungmi - Buy Now
Left - Wooyoungmi A/W 13
Left - Alexander McQueen – Patchwork Wool Jacket - £1220 - Buy Now
Left - Wooyoungmi – Wool Blend Coat - £615 - Buy Now
Left - Neil Barrett A/W13
Left - Paul Smith – Striped Socks - £18 - Buy Now
Below - Moncler – Biarritz Leather Trainers - £280 - Buy Now
“It wouldn’t be a fashion season without a piece of Givenchy. This was one of Riccardo Tisci’s most beautiful men’s collections to date, covered with Robert Mapplethorpe’s black and white photographs.”
Below - Givenchy – Printed T-Shirt - £400 – Buy Now
“In the matter of only a few seasons, the Kenzo label has gone from zero to hero. Under the creative directorship of the duo behind America’s Opening Ceremony, Kenzo is now a chic playground of Rousseau-like tigers and fun prints. The tiger has become their default logo.”
“Casely-Hayford are producing some of the best menswear around, but have had limited distribution until Harvey Nichols took them on board for this season. This collection is all about East London and ice hockey, it's called Kingsland Knights!”
“Hiking boots have been around for a few seasons and after the winters we’ve had, they’ve proved a sound investment. Moncler do know a thing or two about cold weather attire and these boots are perfect for when the snow starts to appear and are the only boots you are allowed to tuck your trousers into.”
Left - Moncler – Worn Leather Boots - £520 – Buy Now
“Suits with large, bold blocks of colour are a major trend for this season. By using navy and black, Neil Barrett makes the trend wearable and it is guaranteed it will fit in with the rest of your wardrobe.”
"Tartan or checks are a major trend this season. Checked trousers are a good way to wear the trend without it looking dated or old-fashioned. They should be well fitted and worn with a plain top.”
“This stained glass window print is one of the standout prints of the season. Alexander McQueen returned to its British roots with a collection strong on traditional fabrics and gothic influences."
“While Valentino is ridiculously expensive, the quality is so good. It’s all about Black Watch tartan this season. The sizing does come up small, so go for a bigger size."
“A leather jacket is an investment so you may as well get the best one there is! This one from Lanvin is cropped and has a slight seventies feel, which was a huge look on the catwalk at brands such as Prada.”
Below - Lanvin – Leather Jacket - £2700 - Buy Now
“Be like a walking Jeff Koons with this metallic digital print top from AQ/AQ. Ouch!”
Paul Smith Portrait for men is a fragrance inspired by Paul's love of travel and photography. The result of a two-year collaboration with French model and fragrance expert Barnabé Fillion, it is a woody, spicy fragrance, characterised by a distinctive green tea note with pink pepper, cedarwood and a sweet, sensual balsamic facet thanks to tolu balm. The tea note, key to both fragrances, is especially important to the designer, who associates the rich aroma of Black Tea with visits to Indian markets and the distinctive smell of Green Tea with Japan – a country he’s visited nearly 100 times.
Left - Reflecting Paul Smith’s duel loves of travel and photography the Portrait flacon takes its cues from the ultimate travel accessories – the hip flask and the camera
"I played a lot with textures for the men’s fragrance, focusing on the quality of the ingredients and mixing spices from Paul’s travels abroad with old perfumery notes like Myrrh used in a modern way,” says Fillion. “I wanted it to have a ‘tailor made’ feel – like beautiful fabric touching the skin.”
TheChicGeek says "Paul Smith knows who his biggest fans are - the Japanese - and this scent is aimed squarely at them. This is a soft, sophisticated scent based around tea. It's quite floral and powdery with a woody background and while not overtly masculine it's totally wearable."
Paul Smith – Portrait For Men - 80ml - £59
After the recent opening of his new men's store on Beak Street, Paul Smith's old furniture store in the heart of Mayfair has been expanded to included the men's mainline collection. No.9 Albemarle Street features an imposing facade which incorporates Paul's hand drawings in bespoke cast iron panels designed in conjunction with 6a architects. The interior is decorated with an eclectic mix of stunning design pieces and intricate details, such as the 26,000 dominos covering the accessories room walls. Significantly extending the pre-existing Paul Smith shop on the corner of Albemarle and Stafford Street, the new space expands into the neighbouring building and will sell clothing and accessories for men and women as well as a selection of furniture. The basement has been converted into a flexible gallery space that will host the work of various artists throughout the year, starting with Walter Hugo's portraits during Frieze art fair.
More images below
One of our favourite men in fashion, Paul Smith, has opened a new menswear-only store in Soho’s Beak Street. His 13th in London, the new store stocks men’s clothing, shoes and accessories alongside an extensive selection of books, art and interesting curios.
The shop’s impressive external façade is crafted from bronze and framed with restored traditional stonework. Spread over two floors, the design contrasts modern and traditional elements. The ground floor has a Modernist feel, inspired by Giò Ponti’s Villa Planchart. Fifties cane and plywood furniture form the focal feature and the custom designed flooring is made from terrazzo.
The upper floor reflects the playful, eclectic nature of Paul’s office, decorated in muted hues of ochre, terracotta, umber and moss. Chinese watercolours hang on the walls alongside a diverse selection of 20th-century Memphis-style furniture and a 1970s table curated for the shop by Florentine design and architecture collective, Superstudio.
Paul invited friends and customers from around the world to send customised envelopes to the shop via his blog, the envelopes now decorate the walls of the ground floor.
Beak Street is the first Paul Smith shop to offer an exclusive bespoke jeans service. There is a choice of drainpipe, tapered, standard or classic fits in exact waist size and length, available in raw or rinsed denim and eight exclusive cloths from classic indigos to super heavy slub denim, cherry red and rainbow selvage. You can further customise with a range of trims including the stitch thread colour, leather back patch, rivet and stud details plus six custom designed pocket bags in classic stripe, geometric prints and a specially commissioned Soho illustration.
Paul Smith - Custom Jeans - From £250
More images below
The V&A’s fashion exhibition for summer 2013, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, explores the creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980s. Looking at how the impact of underground club culture was felt far beyond the club doors and reinventing fashion worldwide it features more than 85 outfits by designers such as John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett, together with accessories by designers including Stephen Jones and Patrick Cox.
Left - Trojan & Mark at Taboo
The ground floor gallery focuses on the young fashion designers who found themselves on the world stage for creating bold, exciting looks. The mezzanine gallery concentrates on club wear, grouping garments by tribes such as Fetish, Goth, Rave, High Camp and New Romantics. This includes clothes of the type worn by Boy George and Adam Ant, as well as more extreme designs worn by Leigh Bowery.
To provide a snapshot of the most fashionable and creative designers working in London the 1980s, the exhibition shows a display of Blitz denim jackets. In 1986, Blitz magazine commissioned a group of 22 London-based designers to customise denim jackets provided by Levi Strauss & Co. The jackets were exhibited at the V&A and auctioned in aid of the Prince’s Trust on 10 July 1986.
Further cases display garments by influential 1980s designers, with a substantial amount of menswear designs by Jasper Conran, Paul Smith, Workers for Freedom and Willy Brown who dressed Duran Duran.
Bodymap, founded in 1982 by Stevie Stewart and David Holah, produced an exhilarating blend of form-fitting knits, layered stretch Lycra jersey and rhythmic print. As one fashion editorial noted, their inspiration had ‘sprung from the streets, sharpened in the clubs’. The designers gained further momentum through their collaborations with choreographer Michael Clark. Mixing and matching, or ‘bricolage’, was reflected in the titles and themes of Bodymap collections, such as Cat in the Hat takes a Rumble with a Techno Fish, which pulled together elements of Dr Seuss’s surreal cartoon comedy, black-and-white graphics, bright colours and 1980s American ‘bratpack’ films.
John Galliano graduated from St Martin’s School of Art in 1984. His degree Collection, Les Incroyables, was inspired by the French Revolution and he spent many hours studying the dress collections at the V&A. Two of Galliano's menswear ensembles from the 1985 Fallen Angel collection are on display, along with a pink, muslin dress from 1986.
London’s clubs in the 1980s acted as the epicentre for the convergence of music and fashion and provided a safe environment in which young people could experiment and mix with those of similar tastes. Fashion designer Stevie Stewart of Body Map noted that ‘each group of people, whether they were fashion designers, musicians or dancers, filmmakers or whatever, living together, going out together and at the same clubs ... had a passion then for creating something new ... that was almost infectious’. Examples of the resultant looks are displayed, ranging from the exaggerated, exotic styles favoured by the Blitz crowd, through the distressed styles of Hard Times, to the eclectic mixing and individual expression of Taboo, to the dance influenced looks of acid house.
In September 1982, The Face observed a ‘hardening of attitudes in music and fashion’ that reflected the economic conditions of Thatcherite Britain: ‘Ubiquitous Levi’s worn into holes, sweatshirts serving their purpose and losing their sleeves, leather dominating everything ... big boots and no socks and espadrilles ... T-shirts ripped and torn’. The ‘Hard Times’ look coincided with a revival of rockabilly style in clothing and music, reflected in leather designs by Lloyd Johnson.
At Taboo, so-called because ‘there is nothing you can’t do there’, Leigh Bowery became the ringmaster of a carnivalesque nightspot, where parodying the norms of everyday life and ‘fashion’ was encouraged. Clothes designed and worn by Bowery are on display along side fetishwear by Pam Hogg and Vivienne Westwood. Clothes by Christopher Nemeth and jewellery by Judy Blame shows how customisation, DIY and re-appropriation of objects prevailed as the club look.
Michiko Koshino’s first store in Covent Garden had a dance club atmosphere and included DJ turntables to complete the effect. In 1987, she began a line of menswear called Motorking, which was worn by David Bowie and Moby. Her club designs included garments made from inflatable plastic fabric that blurred the distinction between art and fashion.
Rave and euphoric house nights, where the combination of dance music and drugs created an atmosphere in which inhibitions were totally gone, changed dress once again. Following the summer of 1987, a number of DJs began to recreate the sound and atmosphere of the Ecstasy-fuelled Ibiza dance clubs. The loose shapes of the early 1980s disappeared and a new kind of tight fitting club wear evolved that featured day-glo colours and metallic tones. This movement is represented by the designs of Rifat Ozbek and Westwood’s silver leather ‘armoured’ jackets.
The atmosphere of friendly and fun clubs like Shoom began to be reflected in much more casual styles. The dressed-up aesthetic of earlier clubs, like Taboo, was replaced by ‘ponchos, dungarees, and loose T-shirts bearing the yellow Smiley motif’ as reported The Face in June 1988.
A small club-like area has been created within the space to show film footage of clubs from the 1980s and stream music compiled by Jeffrey Hinton. There are also unique garments made for club stars such as Leigh Bowery, Scarlett and Juliana Sissons. The clubs were a place to perform and shine and the clothes, worn by men and women, were extreme and made a statement.
Accessories were an essential part of any clubber or fashion follower’s wardrobe and the 1980s launched the careers of some hugely influential accessories designers. The work of Judy Blame, Bernstock Speirs, Patrick Cox, Johnny Moke and collaborations with Sock Shop are on display alongside the Filofax and Mulberry bags.
10th July 2013 – 16th February 2014
Entry to the exhibition - £5
No. of shows TheChicGeek attended - 5 (James Long, Christopher Raeburn, Burberry Prorsum, E.Tautz, Matthew Miller).
No. of presentations TheChicGeek attended - 5 (Paul Smith, Fashion East, Marks & Spencer, Baartmans & Siegel, Mr Porter)
Chats with Paul Smith about his new range using fabrics from the Yorkshire company Joseph H.Clissold - 1
Left - Burberry bringing it on home in Perks Field, Kensington Gardens
Pats on the shoulder from Dermot O'Leary - 1 (At M&S's Best of British presentation)
Recharge of phone - 2
Cones of gelato - 3
Glasses of champagne with Tom Ford - 2
Getting ahead of ourselves, we're looking towards the new AW13 collections. Dog or houndstooth is a major trend for the forthcoming season and Paul Smith produced some of the best and most interesting knitwear.
We also found this, from Topman's website, we think it's past season, as it's on sale, but who cares, when it's bang on trend.
Left - Paul Smith - Wool Mohair Dogtooth Jumper - £365
Below - Villain - 'Vallis' Houndstooth Jumper - £130
Deborah Gale, Head Buyer at Cruise Fashion
“A pattern blazer is the perfect way to add a touch of flair to any outfit, this striped jacket from cult Japanese label Edifice takes its influence from classic Ivy League styling, and can be employed as a statement accompaniment that will certainly turn a few respecting heads this Summer”.
Left - Edifice - Sea Green Border Jacket - £330
“This all over dot shirt is sure to pop out from under any outfit. Christophe Lemaire for Bean Pole is powerhouse collaboration between Korean label Bean Pole, and the Artistic Director of Hermes; this clean and functional dot dash print shirt is made from lightweight printed cotton poplin, which makes it an ideal choice for Summer”.
Below - Bean Pole X Christophe Lemaire - All Over Dot White Shirt - £330
“If you are in need of a suit to herald the arrival of Summer wedding season, look no further than this light blue hued three-piece suit from renowned German designers Hugo Boss. The Hold Genius suit is woven from a soft virgin wool & mohair blend that lends itself perfectly to any formal Summer occasion; if you really want to exude effortless sartorial style, pair with a printed tie and bold-coloured pocket square”.
Left - Hugo Boss Black - Light Blue Three-Piece Hold Genius Suit - £630
“In my opinion, jeans are one of the most problematic items of clothing to purchase; thankfully help is at hand in the form of these dark blue denim jeans from Paul Smith. Not too skinny or baggy to alienate wearers of a particular age-group, and fitted enough to be flattering for most body types; the tapered fit makes them ideal for both smart and casual ensembles, and the indigo wash means your jeans will begin to develop their own character over time - my jeans have a perfectly-formed outline of my phone in the coin pocket!”.
“Everyone has cottoned on to the Wayfarer, Clubmaster and Aviator trend now, and I reckon rounded frames are going to be huge this Summer. These Timeless frames from Han Kjøbenhavn are inspired by classic silhouettes from the 50’s & 60’s, and the acetate ‘Army’ frame is sure to garner plenty of admiring looks from passers-by whenever the sun is shining”.
Han Kjøbenhavn - Timeless Army Sunglasses - £125