This week, Paul Smith definitely turned this preconception on it’s head the other day though – quite literally – with a presentation that saw his models peacocking in an entirely different way by cycling, doing headstands and various other acrobatics.
Inspired by his own love of cycling and all its trappings (from shirts to general memorabilia) the collection was Smith’s very personal interpretation of fashion’s current obsession with sportswear. It’s been 25 years since Smith was the first ever designer to show at Stazione Leopolda (Pitti’s main venue), but Smith’s boys made the return look sprightly and fresh in his brightly-coloured designs – colour tributes to each of his first bikes – that amazingly withstood the entirety of this cardio workout of a performance.
With the motivation behind the collection to create “life-proof” clothes that would work in the world outside of fashion, Smith’s show was something of a endurance test for these pieces designed to look good and be practical too. High-vis shoes and rain jackets, pack-away macs and suits you can cycle through the city in, made up the core of the PS by Paul Smith AW17 collection, spurred on by a love of cycling culture Smith admits himself is “a bit geeky.” Trying to explain this interest, the designer equates it to buying clothes: “so many people are buying fashion, but they’re also doing a lot more with their money… (like) sports, cycling, rock climbing, discovering new countries.”