Americana daze

Paul Smith SS19
Fashion | 28 June 2018

As many houses embrace a newly experimental take on tailoring — emboldened perhaps by the trademark power-shoulder blazers Demna Gvasalia championed at Balenciaga — you can always rely on Paul Smith to show the newcomers how its done. Since revolutionising tailoring all the way back in the 70s, Smith has never once rested on his laurels, constantly reworking the suit and exploring all of the possibilities this surprisingly versatile item of clothing has to offer.

Presented in a shadowy, spotlit theatre at the foot of Montmartre, trousers were cut so loose they billowed from the legs of models (the collection was co-ed, with plenty of tantalising options for his ever-growing base of female customers), and the fabrics were deliciously summery: they sizzled in shades of periwinkle and hot pink, and were constructed with lightweight fabrics seamed together with laid-back effortlessness.

There were hazy screen-printed silks of palm trees and beaches that conjured a vision of blazing California surf, while the rockabilly styling made a nod to another subcultural corner of Americana. Paul Smith’s real achievement, however, is his ability to absorb these global influences and then distil them into something that still feels ineffably British.

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