The holly trinity of style for Paul Smith is texture, color and print. It is a doctrine that has served the charismatic designer well over his long and successful fashion carrier and with his fall/winter 2013 show Smith got the balance between the three pillars just right.
To a medley of songs from the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins the designer produced a lighthearted collection that flawlessly blended together Smith’s signature British tailoring, with graphic pattered sweaters and substantial outerwear.
Houndstooth had a big roll to play in the collection. The iconic pattern was used in classic proportions on overcoats or blown up on fuzzy sweaters. But Smith undermined the traditional nature of the fabric by cutting it in bright colors like purple and blue or a degrade in shades of pinks or reds.
But the true leitmotif of the collection was an upside down triangle. It appeared marching down the front of a sweater in a slightly curved design that gave the symbol an interesting energy. It formed the tip of Smith’s ties and it even popped up in the lining of blazers with charming faux lapels. It was only when Smith extrapolated out on that geometric shape that this collection began to loose a bit of its vigor.
Yet this was one of Smith’s strongest menswear shows in recent memory. It should keep the designer, and buyers, smiling until next winter.
- Jessica Michault