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Paul Smith Menswear S/S11

Quirky pork pie hats and gold lurex were strewn across the show

Let me first tell you the ending: a catwalk full of cheering, jumping and screaming models. Either they were happy that the show, and the entire Paris Menswear week, was over or they were celebrating the life affirming moment that is a Paul Smith show. In pork pie hats and odd bits of gold lurex, models wore mostly light-weight tailoring. Using silk and thin cotton, the look was a mixture between formal and smart. Long shirts, printed T-shirts and shiny silver tops were teamed up with an array of evening jackets that had cut up lapels and/or an elastic hem at the back, making them look like casual waist-long jackets from behind. Dot prints came in different sizes and often contrasted each other on tops and bottoms. The colour palette, like the rock music, was sometimes quite loud, using maroon red, purple and pink. They don’t make designers like Sir Paul Smith anymore.

Dazed Digital: What was the red thread going through the collection?
Paul Smith: It was, as you can very easily tell, based on rock ‘n’ roll. The 1970’s period of Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, a time when fashion wasn’t so easy to find so people often made their own clothes from curtains or women’s dresses.

DD: How would you describe the collection?
Paul Smith: It wasn’t actually a very retrospective collection, it very modern, but it found its roots in rock ‘n’ roll. And it wasn’t about wearing whole outfits, more different elements put together.

DD: What about the jackets, the had cut up lapels and elastic bits at the back…
Paul Smith: It was a time of invention, as you know fashion started in the 50s and 60s, but this was really a time when young designers were trying to impress, and the jacket didn’t figure so making it a bit more complicated made sense.

DD: Favourite piece in the show?
Paul Smith: I like the soft cardigan jackets with shawl collars.