Spring/Summer '14

For spring/summer 14, Paul Smith presents a collection rich in colour and print that combines the luxury of traditional couture techniques with sportswear details

In the palette there’s a nod to the acid tones that defined the 70s. To begin with we see confident hues of yellow and peach gradating across knitwear and pleated trousers. Complimentary shades meet on separates, suits are colour blocked and off-white is used to offset.

As the collection progresses bubblegum and hot pink are dominant in neatly tailored jackets and cutout prints. Here, black is used as a highlight sometimes in panels on knits and trousers, and at other times in all black wide-leg shorts.

The hedonism of the 70s comes through again in fabrication, where sportswear references are elevated and functionality is cast aside. Rip-stop silk, mesh and calf’s leather create a remarkably extravagant and elegant sports kit. Whilst upholstery fabric, silks and wool from mills in Lake Como work effortlessly. Detailed embroidery, jacquard featuring hidden grinning clowns and magic mushrooms with panels of contrasting fabrics develop the dynamic undertones to create luxury pieces that honour the playfulness of Paul Smith.

A consistently sharp silhouette adds further sophistication to the sporty nuances. Shoulders and waists are slim, while lapels and shirt collars are extended and accentuated. Casual outerwear is cropped whilst single button jackets are lengthened a little and trousers are fuller, another nod to the heady 70s. Details also hint at performance wear. In drawstrings, storm guards and gold-plated zips, technical elements are glorified and elevated.

Accessories such as bumbags, pocket pouches and backpacks have a practical edge but are executed with exquisite finishes to create luxury items. In eyewear, perfectly rounded lenses and finely detailed metalwork again touch on the idiosyncrasies of 70s styling. Echoing the tone of the collection, traditional footwear forms such as Oxfords and tasseled loafers are modernised with fluoro details and mixed fabrication.