The Paul Smith fall/winter 2017-2018 ready-to-wear collection was shown at the École des Beaux-Artes, one of the most influential art schools in France. The collection displayed was omnidirectional in terms of fashionable touches and influences, looking both forward to the future and back to pull elements of past Paul Smith successes, while spreading out in all other directions to include interesting ideas and elements to elevate the collection. There were plenty of menswear inspired pieces that offered a more androgynous look regarding fit and overall style.
The prints used were bold and attention holding without coming off as garish. The elements of the past that sprinkled throughout the Paul Smith fall 2017 collection were welcome, grounding the collection a bit with popular fabrics that were incredibly similar to those used by Paul Smith in 1976.
Back then, in his first runway presentation that showed off both men’s and women’s looks in a Parisian hotel room, Paul Smith showed off fabrics in designs that were cemented in the category of beautifully good ideas. This was clearly an intentional call back that Paul Smith leaned into, stating: “Back then, though, the fabrics would have been twice the weight of what they are today.”
The tailoring of the many suits was one of the best features of the Paul Smith fall/winter 2017-2018 collection. The pieces were so flatteringly tailored in both the men’s and women’s versions that although there was an element of androgyny in the design and use of the suits, they were all so strongly and thoughtfully designed that they were unmistakably meant to flatter the available figures respectively.
The wider cut of the women’s jackets and longer hanging hems worked beautifully on the figure, and featured a bit more of an enhanced look than the men’s portion of the collection especially the suit. Many different details from paisley print in the women’s collection and the variety of textures and materials used meshed together well. As a whole the collection was easily creditable as a brilliant win.
Not only was the collection a cohesive vision of enlightened possibilities and reminders, Paul Smith took the opportunity to drop knowledge for those interested in listening and learning. Smith said: “A fashion show is 13 minutes of showing you guys that we are still coming up with ideas and showing the buyers that they can pay the rent. If you dissect all these, you have a great pair of trousers, a great belt, or great shoes . . . there are 15 outfits for women and 20 outfits for men here; come into my showroom and you will see a thousand pieces.”
Photos courtesy of Vogue