This show felt just like that scene in “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy wakes up, opens the door of her Kansas home and sees her sepia world transformed into a brightly colored paradise. Brimming with jewel tones, fruity shades and vibrant ombré blends, this paint box of a collection catapulted viewers into a new world.
Among Paul Smith‘s weird and wonderful looks was a brown shearling jacket with deep raspberry fur; a chunky, oversize mauve sweater, and a teal tailored suit overlaid with a matching knitted vest. One model was dressed entirely in cranberry, another in shamrock green.
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The head-to-toe color combos might be hard to pull off in real life, but were fun nonetheless. Even the sunglass lenses came in bright colors.
Tone-on-tone wasn’t the only story: There was also knitwear done in Smith’s signature, multicolored stripes; colorful zigzags on a fuzzy ombré twinset, and photo prints based on movie posters, old Hollywood studio headshots and cinema interiors. Plaids, checks and gray wool were in the mix, too.
Smith wasn’t thinking specifically about “Oz” this season, but his mind was on cinema, and in particular the art house films he watched as a young man in his hometown of Nottingham, England. He recalled the color-saturated movies by Jean Cocteau, the French New Wave directors and David Lynch — and the posters that accompanied them.
The show’s styling took inspiration from David Bowie’s looks in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” — see the inverted pleat trousers and oversized overcoats — and Harry Dean Stanton in “Paris, Texas.”
Even the show’s music was cinematic: Smith asked his friend Richard Hartley, the award-winning composer, to create the soundtrack, which was full of energy and drew its inspiration from Lynch’s unnerving films.
The runway show was a movie of its own: It was filmed in Paris (without a live audience) at the Île-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry headquarters and livestreamed on Friday morning. The room, with its vast rose pink carpet and lavish crystal chandeliers, was a reminder of another, more glittering world that — hopefully — awaits.
Launch Gallery: Paul Smith Men's Fall 2022