In a stroke of genius, two giants of the British creative scene, Paul Smith and Martin Parr have collaborated on a project that showcases the eccentric wit of their respective characters. 'Paul Smith @ Ilford' by Martin Parr, is a series of photographs taken by Martin Parr of people on the streets of Ilford, Essex, wearing Paul Smith’s Autumn/Winter '07 collection.
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'I decided to go to Ilford because the town's got a great mix of ethnic groups. The people were delighted to be photographed; unlike real models they were dead chuffed to be wearing Paul Smith and in the end it's us ordinary people who wear the clothes rather than the models,’ says Parr of the project. And the stark reality of the 'real people' models acts as a very suitable canvas for the collection.
'Martin's approach has always been very straightforward and his early work was observation of 'very English life' - never glamorized, always honest - and this has been carried through to the photographs he's taken for me,’ says Smith, 'A lot of designers forget that it's mostly regular people who wear their clothes - there aren't enough famous people to go round!'