Paul Smith A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: Smith opened his own shop at 6 Byard Lane in Nottingham after six years working for a friend in the city’s first boutique. In a 12-foot-square back room, down a small passageway behind a moneylender’s office, Smith sought to sell clothes and things that were not available anywhere outside of London, alongside one-off pieces bearing his name, designed and made by his future wife, Pauline. His latest collection referenced this simpler time – when textiles and ideas were clashed together and the anarchy of DIY, blue-blooded style was revered the world over.
Best in show: This urgency of self-expression mixed with archetypes of Britishness. Remixed English eccentricity was key for A/W 2019 as the label’s sartorial heritage was given a new-punk lean. An unfussy, unfurled elegance, punk met regal cavalry shapes and typically British textiles. Bondage trousers in houndstooth. Leather buckles sat high at the waist on Crombie coats. Painterly florals merged with cut and paste graphics and animal prints. Riding-inspired pieces were paired with skinny trousers and biker boots. Smith’s classic, time-honed tailoring was rebooted.
Sound bite: ‘The collection is a celebration of my love of independence, individuality and self-expression,’ Smith said. When he began his now globally renowned brand in the late 1960s, he charmed expert tailors in his hometown into making two-piece suits from pairs of curtains and raffish shirts out of floral dress fabrics. ‘That was how I expressed myself! This collection celebrates self-expression in all of its different guises.’