Fashion’s master of colour was in painterly surroundings for his autumn/winter 2013 womenswear show. The vast Duveen Galleries of Tate Britain, London, were taken over by the nicest man in fashion, Paul Smith, to showcase a collection of bold colour-blocking that Matisse’s Snail would have been proud of.
Fuchsia pink, electric blue and pillarbox red were balanced in Smith’s trademark mannish shapes.
And why change a winning formula? High-waisted box-pleat trousers, oversized coats and silk blouses were juxtaposed with rich silks printed with sumptuous interiors — Romanesque arches and chandeliers.
Waterfall pleats added volume down arms and a strong blue and red diagonal print, that ran throughout the collection, resembled elements of a dissected St George or St Andrew’s flag. (Maybe it was the country’s post-Olympic excitement that inspired Smith to wrap his models in silk Union flags?)
Funnel-neck shearling tunics added a winter sports feeling and a distorted glenplaid check jacket was an interesting update of a classic menswear fabric. Skirt lengths went short for evening, adding a more innocent and playful touch but generally these were clothes to bring colour to all day, everyday.
Accessories came as masculine portfolios in solid colours and a sixties-style ankle boot with blocked heel.
Paul Smith’s woman is a lady who wants an artistic edge to a functional wardrobe. These are beautiful clothes for women who fit that bill.
Watch the official video of the show here.