WORDS Kara Douglas
With the merging of mens and womenswear a seemingly natural progression for designers this season, Paul Smith followed suit. Presenting Paris with a collection that projected immaculately assembled designs, Paul Smith’s AW17 looks firmly rooted themselves alongside the brands long line of strongly tailored archives. Finely tuned feminine silhouettes descended upon the unisex show as we watched Smith’s male models walk the runway in loose tartan trousers, pulled in at the waist by black leather belts and tight-fitting pristine velvet suits, each outfit doused in a dandy-like persona that exuded a boulevardier confidence.
The collection placed a huge emphasis on its British-sourced textures. A selection of materials produced by Lovatt and Hardy Minnis Mills weaving their way into the looks, amongst Black Watch tartans and Prince of Wales Checks. Prints also played a prominent role in the collection as Smith embellished unbuttoned fluid shirts with in-house designs and a few exclusive Liberty pieces, adding some vibrancy to the otherwise traditional navy, red and light grey blazer and tight legged, perfectly pressed trousers combinations. Scottish cashmere roll necks were coupled with checked three piece suits, paying homage to quintessentially British countryside tailoring and were then layered again under leather jackets, outlined with studs to add a minimalistic yet Rock ’n’ Roll suaveness to the ensembles.
Paul Smith paid tribute to the brand’s distinctive heritage, encompassing an essence of grandeur British styling and combining it with lightweight, moveable fabrics. With street style and wearability holding a huge influence over the industry lately, Paul Smith has positioned himself amongst the most versatile brands. The designs encompassed a subtler, moldable menswear identity that resurrected his cut-to-cloth tailoring, making it once again a staple piece soon to be hanging proudly in the ready-to-wear wardrobe of every man.