Having established a reputation for reinventing classics across his half century as a designer, Paul Smith refreshes wardrobe archetypes for Autumn/Winter’20, his fiftieth anniversary collection. Prints and shapes from Paul’s own past are revisited, reinterpreted and celebrated once more. Classic double-breasted Melton overcoats are finished with contrast top-stitching and raw edges whilst clean, lean tailoring nods to the Seventies with added length and high-breaks but has a modern, minimal feel with fly fronts.
Natural tones fill the colour palette; teal, terracotta and clay all compliment a bright shade of sky blue that dominates the collection bringing some much-needed positivity. Archival prints are refreshed. On an early trip to Tokyo, a wax plate of spaghetti from a fake food shop found its way into a photographic print on ready-to-wear. The spaghetti print is revisited for Autumn/Winter ’20, scaled-up, reworked and woven in textural wool jumpers and printed on floor-length down-filled jackets. A fax print from a previous collection that was inspired by the faulty printing of a warped Paul Smith signature, has new-found irreverence in 2020 with the ever-growing prominence of logomania.
Breaking new ground in tailoring throughout his career, tailored garments remain at the centre of the collection but with an ease and looseness that’s at the heart of Paul Smith.
This spirit of reinvention returns when check and houndstooth tailoring is British in its feel but has the fluidity of lightweight Italian cloths. A heavy jumbo corduroy in the predominant sky blue injects cloud-like bounce into the collection and elsewhere proportions are exaggerated in puffer jackets and trainers to create an air of dreamy fantasy. Denim–a regular feature of Paul Smith catwalk collections–appears raw, indigo-washed and overdyed with a floral camouflage.