PARIS FASHION WEEK

Spring/Summer ‘20

Collaging colours, textures and fabrics, the latest Paul Smith collection takes inspiration from Paul’s trips to downtown New York during the 1970s.

On these early visits to America in the 1970s, Paul experienced the vibrancy and energy of SoHo’s burgeoning art scene.

At that time galleries like OK Harris, Pace and Leo Castelli looked beyond the established location of the Upper East Side, instead opening spaces in the bustle of downtown. In response, the city’s young artistic community developed new modes of expression in the warehouse-like studios with access to materials from Pearl Paint and the hardware shops of nearby Canal Street.

Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, pink 1
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, pink 2
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, pink 3
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, pink 4

The personal wardrobes of these creative individuals, who Paul came to know on his visits to New York, inspire this new collection.

Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, suits

At that time an artist’s tailored suit could double as overalls and self-expression came via your interpretation of everyday items like an oversized jacket or a customised cotton shirt.

Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, navy 1
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, navy 2
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, navy 3
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, navy 4

When translating this to the catwalk, an intentional scruffy elegance prevails.

Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, pink tailored jacket

Tailoring moves beyond 1970s nostalgia as function and utility is central to every design. Soft construction and lightweight fabrics create summer tailoring that is effortlessly wearable. An oversized fit is favoured with jackets longer, lapels wider and trousers higher on the rise.

Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, sage 1
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, sage 2
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, sage 3
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, sage 4

Subtle pattern comes from the fabric choice. Double-faced quilted silk is used for men’s jackets and women’s shorts, while pinstripes appear matte on cotton tailoring for women and with added shine on more technical tailoring cloth for men.

The collection’s colours nod to a Pop Art palette, building from pastels of dusty pink and caramel to electric hues of strong yellow and blue.

Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, women's suits

A screen print floral is filled with the DIY attitude so common amongst the people Paul encountered on his early visits to New York.

Repeated uses of a graphic rabbit are a nod to Pop Artists’ re-appropriation of iconic brand logos. Famed for his love of rabbits, Paul re-appropriates his own icon for spring/summer '20.

Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, print 1
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, print 2
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, print 3
Paul Smith spring/summer '20 show, print 4

A soundtrack of modern jazz references Paul’s memories of loft jazz from those early trips across the Atlantic.

Contemporary musicians like Makaya McCraven pay homage to the spirit of Miles Davis while also trailblazing a new jazz sound that uses analogue methods to collage tracks - true to the spirit of the artists that inspire the Paul Smith spring/summer '20 collection.

Styling by Max Pearmain
Hair by Anthony Turner
Make-Up by Lynsey Alexander and the M·A·C PRO team
Photography by Cleo Glover assisted by Zelie Lockhart

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