Paris Fashion Week: Paul Smith goes naval, reserved on the runway
The runways of Milan and Paris were bursting with blues of every hue for the spring-summer 2012 collections, but Paul Smith kept it close to a navy base -- in both senses of the word -- for his slim, trim, pared back collection.
Colorwise the pieces on the runway were grounded primarily in navy blue and black, with some browns grays and tans -- and an eye-catching shade of orange.
It was the orange and blue color combination that evoked the feeling of naval dress uniforms paired with the flight deck vests worn on aircraft carriers (for fall and winter 2011, Mark McNairy's first collection for Woolrich Woolen Mills used a vibrant yellow accent color to create a similar vibe) and the military feeling was only made stronger by ribbed knit sweaters, nylon windbreakers that had a parachute fabric feel and button-front shirts paired with matching neckties as straight and no-nonsense as a nun's ruler.
The collection was more straightforward and unadorned than Smith's recent collections, eschewing pattern and print (except a brief flash of a jacket lining, ad a few final looks that had shattered-glass designs) for orange and blue color-blocked sweaters and mixed fabrication trousers that paired blue, silk-like trousers with leather pieces at each leg from mid-thigh to mid-calf.
No word on what inspired the collection (I usually like to catch Smith backstage after the show where he spins some fantastic yarn involving his elbow-rubbing days with rock 'n' rollers), but no matter, it stands at -- and commands -- attention all by itself.
-- Adam Tschorn in Paris
Photos: Looks from the Paul Smith spring-summer 2012 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Thibault Camus / Associated Press