Alongside Margaret Howell and Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith was one of the first labels to put modern British menswear on the international map. And so, coming off the back of a major career retrospective at the Design Museum, it was good to see him dip a (literal) toe into the waters of London Collections: Men.
It WAS just a toe, at this point: a long plinth at the Hauser & Wirth gallery on Savile Row, surrounded by Phyllida Barlow drawings, along which Smith had lined up 40 four-hole Oxford shoes - half mens, half womens - in his-and-her pairs that gradually flushed through a range of dusty summer pastels; rust, coral, rose, sand, mustard, lemon, lilac, cornflower, aubergine. The colour carried throughout: each shoe had laces, soles, and even tiny stitch detailing dyed to match. As a whole, it was refreshingly straightforward, and utterly true to Smith's classics-with-a-twist language: a simple story, cleanly and simply told.