Paul Smith: like father, like son
That’s what we call a great homage and collaboration between a dad and a son. Paul Smith’s latest dashing rocker gent collection featured some great faded color prints, which turned out to be taken from photography mainly shot by his dad.
From seascapes, to urban sunsets to graphic posters, startling imagery made all the better for the fact that they had an aged patina. Benjamin Harold Smith was a professional salesman but also a clearly talented amateur photographer: his genes evident in his son, Britain’s most successful ever independent fashion designer.
“We found several boxes of his photos and what was most amazing was how they had altered with time. So an English seascape was suddenly in bright pink!” laughed his son Sir Paul Smith post show.
The results were some memorable trench and spy coats; dashing parkas and neat windcheaters; all done with the bold photo prints, a technical idea Smith himself first developed back in the early 80s.
Smith junior referenced that era in his forgiving, power shoulder silhouette; seen in long, fluid red leather redingotes, great wide pants, drop-waist double-breasted jackets and dashing rock-star blazers, in a show staged inside the Elysée Montmartre, a 19th-century music hall that became a famous rock venue. A co-ed show, where some of Benjamin’s imagery turned up on silk shirts and summer frocks for the ladies.
“Bowie once played here so this collection seems pretty fitting for the venue,” said Sir Paul, who had the backstage done up with rock posters, again culled from his dad’s photography.
“I reckon the old man is up above and looking down,” commented the designer with suitable pride, but also that scent of sadness for a much loved and inspirational dad.
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