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




The iconic National Hall of Olympia, London, came to life last night with the Collectors’ Preview of the Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair 2013.
With an exceptional range of over 30,000 pieces of art and antiques to whet all appetites, the fair, which opens today to the public and will run until Sunday 10 November, is in its 23rd year and still relevant to trade and collectors alike.
It attracts over 22,000 visitors year after year and continues to focus on high quality antiques from 130 dealers and provides unrivalled choice for collectors, decorators and international visitors alike, offering both the traditional to the quirky from over thirty disciplines including furniture, paintings, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, textiles, silver and glass.

This year, the fair will be running alongside Asian Art in London, as well as some of the most important auctions in the winter season, so it’s the perfect time for collectors and art lovers to be in London. Highlights this year include Agatha Christie’s silver and Humphrey Bogart’s engraved glasses, as well as works by Archibald Knox, Sir Thomas Lawrence and Cartier.


 “I wanted to create something like a cloud on the head”

– Maiko Takeda –

Is this photography? Art? Fashion? Millinery? Jewellery? Design?

All of the above!

Early this summer, Maiko Takeda presented her millinery collection,
Atmospheric Reentry, as her final graduation show for her M.A in Millinery at the Royal College of Art. The Tokyo-born, London-based designer who, prior to this had studied Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins, created striking architectural headpieces, visors and body armours, all painstakingly hand-composed of thousands of printed-acetate wedges, bristles, transparent plastic spikes, acrylic disks and jump rings, all tinted with colour gradients.

 “While hats are commonly made with substantial and durable materials such as fabric, felt, plastic, leather so on, instead I wanted to create ethereal experiences for the wearer through the pieces” says Takeda.

Whether you see in Takeda’s creations futuristic snood-like caps, spiky sea cucumbers, porcupine quills, iridescent fish scales, surreal creatures, psychedelic hedgehogs or scintillating caterpillars with miniature London’s The Shard buildings on their backs, they never shy away from having an impact or being dramatic and don’t go unnoticed. They certainly impressed Björk who, after seeing some of Takeda’s adornments on a fashion blog, decided to commission her and wear her pieces on stage for her Biophilia tour this year. You would be quite hard-pressed to find a better celebrity endorsement!

Takeda can also credit working for luminaries of the fashion world such as Issey Miyake, Stephen Jones, Philip Treacy and Erickson Beamon. Rather impressive I must say and another sign that Takeda is on the right trajectory as a young, new and vibrant artist.


After being inspired by Philip Glass’ minimalist opera “Einstein on the Beach” in 1992, Adeka wanted “to create surreal, subtle dramas around the person wearing my piece and the people near them”, she observes. “I imagine the people who wear my pieces want to experience or share surreal moments in their daily lives, at a party or in the privacy of their own home. I want my pieces to give people those magical experiences”

Quoting “Logic + Geometry + Space” as forming her common denominator, Adeka’s playful and otherworldly creations take on different dimensions depending on the environment; natural or artificial, her delicate and fragile-looking pieces react differently to the light, wind, gravity or colours that surround them.

On or around the head, wrapping the whole body, part of it or just the wrist and the hand, her ephemeral and surrealist work of art transcends the traditional expectations of her subjects and create an experience of wonder and bewilderment.

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Could these become Grace Jones’s new adornments or even the fascinators
de rigueur at Ascot next year? 

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Atmospheric Reentry can be seen at the Faceless Part II exhibition, at the Vienna MuseumsQuartier until November, 24.

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