Paul Smith designs around a men’s silhouette, even when it’s his women’s collection. While there are always the pieces that overtly seek your attention, Smith is perhaps best known for what I describe as straight up with a twist; that is he creates ready to wear pieces that present a (usually) subtle twist on the norm. The latter can be a problem when viewing a catwalk. Smith’s subtle twists aren’t generally easy to pick up on from a distance of metres away; they’re more likely to be a small stitch detail such as embossing on the sole of a shoe or a naked lady hidden within a cuff. The former, however, is far naturally far easier to regard, and Smith’s autumn 2012 collection offers it up aplenty.
So much so that you could describe this as a collection for the androgynously inclined, with even a sheer top with a white tuxedo collar offering a masculine lean. As a result it would be easy to describe this as another collection exploring the new silhouette of relaxed tailoring, but that’s not the case: this is a simple, androgynous view and the cuts remain relatively slim save for the outerwear which drives home the masculine story. What is an exploration of current masculine fashion, however, is Paul Smith’s use of short cuffs on trousers. Thom Browne’s popularistion of the cut has come full circle.
You can see all of the Paul Smith autumn (fall) / winter 2012 runway collection, as shown at London fashion week (LFW), by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.
Photography by Allan James Barger