A straight coat, its firm lines softened by faded checks — Paul Smith took his collection into that almost-forgotten British fashion territory: tailoring.
Softened by the washed Madras checks, thickened by the use of shearling, this was a fine and well-thought-out collection from London’s great menswear designer, who has finally given his women’s line street cred — meaning that it looks desirable and practical.
This collection reminded me of what has been lost in fashion since the focus swung to digital experiments and every other outfit is built on pattern and print.
Paul Smith’s approach is much more pragmatic, and that is meant as a compliment. These are clothes that will last long in a woman’s wardrobe. For a start, there were trousers, often forgotten among a plethora of skirts. There might have been more diversity in length, but the ankle-high pants looked slick.
But it was the faded checks which caught the moment — geometric, with a soft haze to make them wardrobe-friendly rather than a loud fashion statement.