SMITH SPEAKS: Sir Paul Smith, who traditionally shows his ready-to-wear collection in Paris, presented a selection of nine suit jackets in London this week, each made from cloth produced exclusively in collaboration with the 203-year-old Yorkshire mill Joseph H Clissold. “There’s not a lot of fun things you can do with a suit,” said Smith. “I mean, there are — but not if you want to sell any. People like classic suits, so this collection is about nudging, rather than shoving, men’s wear,” he said, referring to what is know as The British Collection.

“We work closely with the mill, and develop the cloth so that we’re taking classics like a windowpane check or a bird’s-eye spot and growing it into a large scale, so that when it becomes a suit, it becomes kind of abstracted,” he said. The suits come in two fits, “The Kensington,” a slim fit, and “The Byard,” which is more tailored. Fabrics included a classic pinstripe in Smith’s trademark bold colors, a jacquard herringbone woven into the Union Jack, a pin dot and an overcheck.

This story first appeared in the June 19, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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