LEARNING HIS STRIPES: PAUL SMITH & THE DESIGN MUSEUM






Today’s recipient needs little introduction. Most of you will have instantly recognised the image above and will have, at one point or another, held a bag or a gift box adorned by this iconic pinstriped barcode with its trademark rainbow of multifarious colours that is universally associated with the signature logo of …




Paul Smith‘s illustrious career and exceptional impact on the world of fashion and retail is the subject of a much-anticipated exhibition this winter
at the brilliant Design Museum in London.

“Hello, my name is Paul Smith” is a major retrospective opening on Friday until March 9, 2014 that will give a comprehensive insight into the five decades of the British designer and retailer’s world, influences, achievements and working methods.


Due to the huge popularity and influence of the designer (his empire is represented in 72 countries), the exhibition is likely to appeal to a broad audience and break visitor figure records – and even the Design Museum’s own records as it already celebrated the designer in 2001 with its ‘True Brit” exhibition.




The rich visual experience curated by Donna Loveday (she of the museum’s hugely successful Christian Louboutin show last year) will take the shape of a long corridor and will chart the designer, retailer and businessman’s career throughout various media (music, photographs, artifacts, projections, films, soundbites) and approaches such as these:




a display of Sir Paul’ Smith’s daring sartorial creations from collections selected by the designer himself dating back to his first show in Paris in 1976 up to today
(the company shows an impressive fourteen different collections every year), personal archives, hand-drawn sketches and other inspirational elements that make Paul Smith’s mind tick and creativity flow, a reconstruction of Smith’s first humble 1970 shop in Nottingham famously measuring three metres square, a makeshift version of his current studio and a room dedicated to the paraphernalia he’s received from his adoring fans throughout the years, most probably from Japan where his fan base is huge.








Another area will also be devoted to his architect wife Pauline whom has had a huge influence on his work, another one will showcase the unique design behind each of his stores accompanied by selection of jewellery, books, artworks, antiques, objets and curiosités that typically complement the clothes, and of course his great, whimsical collaborations ranging from cars (Rover’s Mini), cameras (Leica) and rugs (The Rug Company) to water bottles (Evian) and bicycles (Rapha) – Smith aspired to a be a professional cyclist until a road accident crushed his dreams when he was fifteen – and a special feature giving the visitors a glimpse into the brand’s future projects.






From his impeccably smart and tailored menswear and womenswear, his inventive approach to fabric, colour and pattern to his principles of traditional craftsmanship of tailoring and techniques with a contemporary edge, and his ‘English eccentric’ twist and Brit-wit style,  A-Gent of Style has been a huge admirer of Sir Paul Smith and looks forward to entering this world of “creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty” that epitomises the man behind one of the most quintessential British labels and leading fashion brands in the world.



Paul Smith stores – interiors and exteriors

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Paul Smith Spring/Summer 2014 collection

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Paul Smith objets and collaborations

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A Channel 4 interview





A BBC interview






During the run of the exhibition, the Design Museum will be hosting a series of exciting events such as Paul Smith Instagram Takeover, Live Twitter Q&A with Paul Smith and Sophie Hicks on Designing for Paul Smith.








A book “Hello, My Name is Paul Smith” published by Rizzoli will be published to coincide with the exhibition



 

 

TAKE A BOW: MARC JACOBS



 


Rumours were rife in the world of la mode lately but the news were finally confirmed on Wednesday morning by LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault: Marc Jacobs is leaving Louis Vuitton to focus on his eponymous brands, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Yesterday was the final show of the 50-year-old American designer which brings an end to a 16-year-long tenure at the brand. Jacobs was appointed creative director of Louis Vuitton in 1997. He is responsible for having introduced Vuitton’s ready-to-wear line, turning the brand into a global powerhouse. A-Gent of Style must admit he has indulged a few times in some of his creations. Prior to his ‘reign’, the label was known only for its fusty leather goods and luggage line. 




Like his first show for ‘LV’, the extravagant Victoriana show, staged inside a tent in the centre courtyard of the Louvre, was created entirely in black. Part of the set included pieces and nods from past shows including a carousel, escalators, a lift, a fountain, a hotel hallway, a catwalk made of lambskin in the house’s damier check and a large clock which wound back after the show ended, hence creating a deliciously macabre, morbid and noir backdrop for the elegant garments.

Jacobs dedicated the show to “All the women who have inspired me and the showgirl in every one of them…Black to me is the colour of the chicest women in Paris. It’s Juliette Gréco, it’s Françoise Hardy, it’s Édith Piaf in a little black dress, it’s the Left Bank of Paris. It seemed like the chicest way to show all these dazzling textures”.





Feathers, crystal, lace, silk, giant Folies Bergère feather headdresses, jet-embroidered chiffon, sheer bodysuits, leather jackets, heavily embellished gowns, low-slung trousers, skirts in plush, weighty fabrics and also boxy, cuffed denim jeans all attended the sartorial ‘funeral’ to pay their last respect to their master.
The media circus might proclaim the end of an era but this is a positive farewell ending with a powerful statement about beauty, luxury, opulence and irreverence.

Marc Jacobs’s successor has not yet been named although it has been heard on the grapevine catwalk that ‘le petit Nicolas’ could be the frontrunner…




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Trust Jacobs for knowing how to go with a, ahem,…




Happy Friday everyone!

 

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