When elements of nearly a century’s worth of fashion trends are in style, where does a designer go? If you’re Paul Smith designing your men’s autumn / winter 2013 fashion collection, the answer seems to be everywhere. Smith’s interpretation of the next snowy season doesn’t merely borrow elements from various parts of history but rather is a romping tour de force through the annals of (recent) British menswear history.
This fact wasn’t obvious from the looping strains of David Bowie that served as background noise while we took our seats. Nor was it obvious from the long collar and overly short tie of the Paul Smith show’s opening look. But it was obvious as the collection progressed through military motifs rooted in the Second World War, the apparence of 60’s Mod surpluss, and the eventual progression of wares nicked from the backs of rockers of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Much is said of Paul Smith’s quirkiness. It’s a writer’s go-to line. But for all the embellishments and linings you could choose to highlight in his autumn / fall 2013 collection – and, gosh, much was said post-show of the selected fabrics – you’d really miss the core gem of this men’s collection: cuts a plenty. Designers tend to stick to a single cut for their male audience – they see their demographic as devoted to a skinny cut or a relaxed one, and seldom the twain shall meet. Smith has done away with that standard, instead making his fall 2013 collection one where box cut suits sat alongside military pants and aviator jackets, classic pleats extended to reach the pockets save for for those of the cargo pants, and nicely tailored puffer pants (yes, really) made way for a 90s rocker trying to relive the 70s.
Yes, much will be made of Smith’s fabrics and colour choiecs. But the essence of his fall 2013 offering is this: this is a look inside the wardrobe of a boy who has borrowed both his grandfather’s and father’s fineries and redied them. It’s the best of British menswear, all rolled into one, several decades on.
You can see all of the Paul Smith autumn (fall) / winter 2013 runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.
Photography by Imaxtree