For the first time ever since his debut, designer Paul Smith presented his men’s and women’s collection on the same runway. This trend has slowly been gaining traction (With Vivienne Westwood and Kenzo doing the same this season) and it is definitely one I’d gladly see more of. Showcasing unisex collections combine the best of both worlds in one sitting, equalizes their importance and allows garments to play off their gender’s counterparts. For Paul Smith, it also allowed him to take us back to his roots, presenting garments that best highlighted his trademark tailoring techniques.
The collection entitled « WO MAN » paid homage to the brand’s aesthetic and tailoring that has been cultivated a strong following of men and women alike. Smith’s British heritage shone through in patterns like Prince of Wales checkers and Black Watch tartan or exclusive Liberty prints on shirts. Then came the Scottish infusion with cashmere and Fair Isle woven knitwear while some other fabrics originated from Lovatt and Hardy Minnis Mills.
The baseline of the collection was that no one look is ever simply sartorial. That’s where Smith’s subtle eccentricities come in, like his love of radiant colors. A touch of bright red here, a splash of cerulean blue there. Dandy jackets were refined for feminine bodies while slim suits were layered with broad-shouldered trench coats. Colorful vibrant feather prints were also drawn throughout the collection on silk blouses, jackets and on coat linings.
Heritage and craftsmanship were at the forefront of the collection, cementing Paul Smith’s distinct style from the proliferation of streetwear-orientated brands that have been taking over fashion week. He shows us the versatility and wearability of fine tailoring, infused with just the right energy for today’s generation.
Photographs by Margaux Demaria