P for: Paul Smith, pantsuits and playful prints

Tailored fun


By Joan Kong

P for: Paul Smith, pantsuits and playful prints

“In this strange world, we need a bit of fun, a bit of optimism, and who wouldn’t want to be sitting next to the ocean at this time of the year?” Paul Smith said eagerly backstage at his show. For SS18, the British designer opted for that bit of kitsch and quirk to lighten the mood of the brand’s impeccably tailored pieces, with sea-inspired patterns that made us long for an island vacation. While this is his second co-ed show (his first was back in January last year), the women’s line this round was created as a “standalone effort” as opposed to being an extension of menswear. ’40s shapes, wrap dresses and skirts helped to give the sharp tailoring that bit of feminine juxtaposition.


Silhouettes wise, exaggerated lapels that gave off a ’70s vibe were complemented with strong shoulders and slightly longer lengths, and its men’s jackets now feature a single button for a waist-accentuating effect. But the highlight of the collection, are the patterns that are bold and vibrant. While classic check and houndstooth separates made appearances, the ocean landscape, florals and fishes (yes, you read that right) took centre stage. Paul Smith’s love for Hawaiian shirts inspired him to evoke that ’50s surfer spirit, with a mix of florals, corals and Japanese koi carps peppered onto shirts, and paired with matching trousers. Aquatic graphics—the tuna and mackerel prints, in particular—were derived from vintage Japanese food packaging. Mainly in a red and blue colour palette, the motifs were incorporated into unexpected pieces such as ties, belts and leather accessories, and for women, in the form of a box bag, or on T-shirts worn with monochrome pantsuits.


Below, our printed favourites from Paul Smith men’s and women’s collection: 

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