Paul Smith Autumn/Winter 2014 collection

Paul Smith deconstructs sartorial conventions, injecting femininity into tailored outerwear, neatly cut tuxedo pyjama pants and panelled suit jackets.

Hendrix's hazy psychedelia influences the palette; bright yet not brash, hot pink is offset by navy, mustard collides with cobalt blue and stripes of turquoise and gold alternate. In later looks we see deeper hues; burgundy meets petrol green and purple sits alongside gunmetal grey.

For autumn/winter 14, the dandyish decadence of the late 60s comes through in clashing patterns, with paisley and floral prints appearing together on loungewear and candy stripes running down a louche belted dressing gown.

Affirming the sensuality, silk dominates in early exits on patterned camisoles and print panelled skirts, before making way for brushed alpaca, thick sheepskin and intarsia knits. With unexpected use of fabrics throughout, functionality is subverted as traditional suiting cloths are used in inflated Oxford Bag style trousers and broad shouldered jackets.

Across the collection there's a renewed focus on tailoring. Outerwear and suit jackets are elongated in the body, lapel shapes are exaggerated and the silhouette is confident. Formality is broken down and masculine conventions take a feminine twist in relaxed single button jackets, oversized turn-ups on trousers and waists cinched with belts.
An effortlessly elegant punctuation point comes in closing looks in flowing satin and lace skirts, high necks and knee-skimming sheepskin. Eveningwear is consistently relaxed though in formal cashmere trousers coupled with playful lurex knitwear or long dresses finished with pockets.

The creative confidence of Edith Sitwell and the Bloomsbury Group luminaries is an influence in the  inclusion of brightly coloured shoes, bags, eyewear and silk scarves. Each are modernised in details such as mirrored lenses on sunglasses, fringed tongues on healed brogues and clashing tones and fabrics on handbags.

Originally published on