The odd combinations of style, beauty, and colors have always showcased who Paul Smith is. In this Spring-Summer 2021 Collection, he demonstrates such principles have always been alive.
The influences of travel underscore the Spring/Summer 2021 Collection of Paul Smith. In the Lookbook video, Smith narrates his story. He recounts his adventures with his wife Pauline Denyer, his eye for details he has found on the streets that feed his thinking, and how exploring foreign cities revamps his methodology to design. Photographs the couple have taken and treasured over their years of moving to and from abroad slide out of an envelope, a graze on the motif of Smith’s Men and Womenswear 2021 Collections.
«When I first went to Italy at the age of sixteen, just seeing young men wearing lemon-colored sweaters or white shoes, I just thought ‘it is okay to wear color, or you can do things that are slightly different and it is okay’». Paul melds his findings into the fabric of his latest anthology. While the fashion of the 70’s charges the SS21 Collection’s energy, summer and earth palettes punctuate the visuals of the garments. The contrast of bold and toned colors depicts the heart of Paul Smith’s signature.
The fabrics used include seersucker, organic cotton, and 100% linen to exhibit modernity and sustainability. The tailoring seals the brand’s tradition of ease through the loose tops and trousers, and drawstrings waists. Comfort balks as a priority. Style follows suit. Aesthetics tie every feature. «The odd mix of things has always been very much about what I am, which is inappropriate things together and mixing patterns with beautiful contrasts of things. That is what I have always done». The SS21 Collection encompasses the motion of polarity in fashion and palettes, blossoming into a singular look that binds them all together.
The history of where such designs have drawn their influences stems from the fashion brand’s birth. Paul has marched at the vanguard of combining tradition and modernity in his designs. Guided by a philosophy he coined in 1970, he has addressed his fashion principles through a «classic with a twist». He turns to high art, everyday life, travel, and everything in between to fuel his muse. «When you travel the world, you see things. It could be an interesting color of a wonderful house in Greece, which is often in mint green or beautiful blue, it could be the texture of a wall, or it could be clothes seen on somebody in India or Morocco».
Last year, the British fashion house welcomed its fiftieth year in the industry through a collaborative project with graphic designer Wei Prior. His rendition of the Paul Smith’s archives propelled «snapshots of the past viewed through modern lenses», reverberating the ethos of the fashion brand. Graffitis of the number “50” carpeted the backdrop of the fashion images Paul Smith have stored since its arrival. The gallery allows a glimpse of the House’s founding fundamentals that have been sustained in spite of the transitions in the industry.
The SS21 Collection erupts as a testament of Paul Smith’s playfulness to what he curates. Instead of patterning the designs to what the seasons ask for, he «looks back on dreamlike holidays from the past», and brings his photo albums and «precious shared adventures with Pauline»to life. The «series of floral prints and sun-bleached holiday colors» makes up the nostalgia Smith envisions to dispense to the public.
While the SS20 Collection «took a trip to downtown New York during the 1970s», the recent release harbors on a journey that ticks off boxes far from the Big Apple setting: to rediscover the equilibrium in the antithesis of the amalgamation of colors, to reimagine the sync that threads the past to the present, to reminisce the memento of wandering in a city, and to guarantee that everyone experiences what Smith had in his travels.
Smith had dreamed of becoming a professional cyclist, but his bicycle accident at the age of seventeen halted his pursuit. Instead of mulling over his unrealized aspiration, he explored the avenues of his creativity, art, and design while he recovered from the crash. Fifty years later, Smith owes the transcendence of his career to the accident. He has moved forward with his flagship at a consistent pace, introducing men and womenswear that shear between formalwear and high fashion. In a way, his misfortune reminds him that «out of bad, good things come».