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Paul Smith Menswear A/W10

Smith's smart capes and bowler hats signalled a new gentleman for this season

The last show of the week was our very own Paul Smith - a classic in every sense of the word. The length, depth and width of his shows are representative of his experience and longevity as a first class designer. You always sort of know what to expect when walking in to his show venue, and I mean that in a good way. How often do you see a bad Paul Smith collection? The man knows his strengths and plays the game the way it should be played – according to the rules.

The rules, since you ask, state that if you have a particular skill and a specific design direction that is proven right, your should stick to your guns and spend your time improving, rather than imploding. In his autumn winter collection, Sir Paul tried out quite a few styles in his fields of expertise. Starting with a subtle punk theme, we saw check trousers and jackets – often in size contrasts, with smaller checks on the pants than the top. Hoodies under the suit jackets continued that direction.

All of a sudden it turned smarter. Smith’s version of city chic included tuxedo jackets and coats, and the simple but beautiful colour combination of beige, light blue and grey.This was often accompanied by loafers and brogues. We then changed briefly to the uniform of a 19th Century gentleman, which meant black capes and bowler hats. But the real highlight – especially in a winter season dominated by grey and black – came when a handful of suits in purple, turqiose and electric blue entered. The audience lit up, and the menswear week in Paris ended on a positive and colourful note, thanks to Paul Smith.