Dress up like a dandy seemed to be Paul Smith’s motto for his A/W 12 collection.
Plush sapphire blue velvet trousers, iridescent dégradé burnt orange and grey dresses, as well as boyishly tailored pea coats and blazers defined a collection that stayed true to Smith’s self-described signature of ‘classic with a twist’.
Tweed and plaid prints paired with low slung, front-pleated trousers and silk draped tops kept the feel of the collection more feminine rather than borrowed from the boys, while the injection of colours such as deep fuchsia, emerald green and garnet punched up the chromatic factor for coming winter months.
Paul Smith may be a permanent fixture on the London Fashion Week schedule, but he sure knows how to keep things fresh.
The heart of London’s design community beats faster than ever this week, as Clerkenwell hosts its own dedicated design festival. The first ever Clerkenwell Design Week, although actually only three days, packs in big names like Paul Smith, Tom Dixon and Tord Boontje as well as big ideas – like how to make clouds, snow ice-cream and the Chairless seat.
Look out for product designer Bethan Laura-Wood, and jewellery artist Wendy Ramshaw’s metre high brass and aluminium towers. Plus shoe designer Tracey Neuls has made two pairs of heels using Patricia Urquiloa and Tord Boontje fabrics that will be auctioned off. With new talents, ideas, exhibitions, food and pop-up shops – design junkies will be tripping out across the streets of EC1 in all directions.
Design blog It’s Nice That is a daily fix for discovering new talent and inspiring ideas from across the creative industry. In their biannual printed magazine the team bring together the best online posts from the past six months for us to physically thumb our way through, as well as treating us to some specially written interviews and features from top creative figures.
Check out April’s issue for interviews featuring the likes of graphic design legend Milton Glaser, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith and artist Maisie Broadhead amongst others. Designer Ken Garland rifts on his love of rust, while artist Johan Lofgren’s expounds on his impressive collection of vintage board games.
It’s Nice That Issue #3 with Parra print is available to pre-order only from the It’s Nice That for £10. www.itsnicethat.com/shop
The super style of the ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo’ is celebrated this month with a brief but brilliant exhibition. Photographer Daniele Tamagni’s images provide a fascinating insight into the vibrant street style of ‘The Sapeurs’ – the immaculately dressed dandies from the heart of the Congo. As King Kester Emenya, the Congolese musician says, “The white man may have invented clothes but we turned it into an art”. Apparently, Sir Paul Smith, who prefaced the original book based his spring collection on the images. Nuff said.
From 27th – 29th November, London Newcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP. www.trolleybooks.com