Exclusive Paul Smith SS14 Photo Diary

The legendary tailor from Nottinghamshire lensed a visual diary from his LC:M presentation, exclusively for Port

Sir Paul Smith is a father figure for London’s menswear scene. Not only has he made a career out of suiting, but he established himself on the international scene a long time ago – today he’s probably as well-known in Japan as in the UK. His mentorship is visible in, for example, his friendship with young design duo Agi & Sam. They go to him for advice and Paul Smith, I imagine, finds inspiration to drive his brand forward when talking to the new generation fashion designers showing at LC:M.

It’s therefore also very important that Paul Smith, at least partly, has returned to London to show. Admittedly it’s not his catwalk-based mainline but a presentation of formalwear – the tailored British Collection – but the main point is that Paul Smith recognises that London craves his support and nod of approval. To have him – plus Alexander McQueen and, from this season, Burberry – back on UK soil not only helps push domestic fashion, but also shows the younger menswear designers that the big brands believe in and cherish what LC:M is trying to create and achieve.

The British Collection is like a capsule line of smart and formal tailoring – but done his way… a classic with a twist, as the old Paul Smith saying goes. Using fabrics from Yorkshire mill Joseph H Clissold, the collection aims to update traditional materials. New versions of the pin-dot, the herringbone, the pinstripe and the overcheck feature throughout, often playful in colour combinations and fabric details: “Pioneering techniques in fabric construction enable these perennial classics to be reimagined; the traditional overcheck is engineered into the weave to play with scale; the pinstripe encapsulates the vibrant colour with subtlety and a deft touch; and the herringbone is jacquarded across the full repeat of the cloth to hint at an icon of British design,” Paul Smith said of the collection.

Words David Hellqvist
Photography Paul Smith