You feel it in your guts when it’s a good show. You know it is when you find it hard to edit the catwalk images that you’re choosing to highlight your piece. Perhaps it’s my age? Or simply because all the kiddiewinks fashion designers jumping up and down, grasping for attention doesn’t either ring true or do it for me (any more), but Paul Smith played an absolute blinder of a collection this season. It’s becoming a trend in itself that the long-in-the-tooth stalwarts of London Fashion Week are, again, finding their feet with their graceful age and experience coming to the fore. And frankly, knocking spots off younger, keener, racier, so-called edgy designers.
Paul Smith’s latest laid-back, louche look for Autumn/Winter ‘14 lived & breathed a casual assuredness. Sir Paul took a walk in the park with this one…in casual PJs and loungewear. And it ached cool. From the off, striped silk PJ shirts worn over clashing print trousers looked right. The 1970s tinged savoir faire of strolling models, hands thrust in pockets and wearing crop trousers or PJ pants, Paisley print Kaftan ensembles (to die for) that were a little bit Dries but a whole lot Brit, and floral blousons over floaty silk skirts was a type of sporty hybrid Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac affair. Certainly ‘going his own way’.
Dressing gowns in purple stripe silk edged in mulberry, raspberry brocade crop pants and duster coats, raw edged pastel tweed and silk Paisley scarves worn cowboy style & fur long gilets all gave the impression of 1980s Milanese Gianfranco Ferre at his best.
Perhaps this is why I loved this show so much? By taking a short trip to the late ‘70s/early ‘80s and by concentrating on great design, clashing pattern and print and sheer, blooming lovely, great design and fabrication, Paul Smith’s AW’14 collection stood out without trying. THIS is a collection to keep buyers and customers happy. For stylish people only. Thrill seekers verboden.