Paul Smith went for a relaxed presentation to celebrate his return to Pitti Uomo handpicked a sprinkling of elements from his sprawling secondary line, PS by Paul Smith, that captured the concept of the collection: updated, contemporary, sportier takes on the house’s DNA for the modern man on the move. Especially those who favor transport of the two-wheeled variety. Or elastic-limbed dancers, much like those modeling looks on podiums to Wham!’s “Everything She Wants” in a concrete warehouse lit by flamingo-pink strobe lights.
Smith, who greeted guests in a bare metal stand backed by a wall of round mirrors, said the set was based on the look of the PS by Paul Smith stores. “One of my shops, on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, is the most Instagrammed building in all of California, and the reason people like it is the color is very flattering. For some reason, I’ve used an element of bright pink in all of the PS shops — there are 11 shops at the moment and we’re opening more all the time.
“The aspects I decided to show here were what I think is most relevant today, which is what most people do on the weekends — something active — and also people, a bit like myself, who travel every week of their life. And the fact that the raincoat will go into a tiny bag, and that coat is totally waterproof, and then all the cycling-inspired things,” continued the designer, whipping out his tome, “Paul Smith’s Cycling Scrapbook,” released last year. “The line’s knitwear was inspired by my collection of vintage cycling jerseys,” he added, flipping through the book.
To his side, a rack of items — spanning a two-in-one reversible mackintosh in navy and vivid tartan; a water-resistant, colored pack-a-mac with reflective bands; a crease-free, breathable and durable “city cycle suit” with a drawstring waist and knitted trouser cuffs, and a “Stay Sharp” chino evoking Britain’s mod revival and skinhead culture from the late Seventies, only machine-washable with a permanent single crease — demonstrated the designer’s increasing devotion to performance and functionality while still holding onto his sense of fun.