Paul Smith is one of the UK’s biggest talents and today he proved just that with his Autumn/Winter 2023 menswear collection. Debuting at Paris Fashion Week, the Nottingham native, known for colors, offered a mix of mixed and manipulated materials for men, infusing his signature use of stripes, rainbow colors and prints throughout almost the entire collection.
FW23 was a reflection on the past. The pieces he designed in the 90s served as inspiration for the smallest details, such as adding four buttons to jacket cuffs, trouser hems and along the inside lining of jackets. Looking back even further, the designer headed to Milan where he found a collection of carpets, some of which were 200 years old. Combine this with fabrics sourced from local English mills, and the Paul Smith FW23 is a collection destined for his extensive archive and sure to be remembered.
Speaking about this in more detail to Hypebeast backstage, the designer said: “I visited a really amazing collection of vintage rugs. We took a lot of inspiration from the models, they were all slightly odd colors because they were hand painted.” With this in mind, he translated this vision into his signature knitwear, adding twisted tweed-like yarns alongside colorful threads to create a textured array of abstract jumpers, vests and capes.
His tailoring was also heavily inspired by the archives. “We went to the archives to use fabrics I had made in the past, 25 years ago, and remade them for modern times. I was just reviewing the things I’ve done in my life a lot, a lot, a lot long life, and still somehow standing, and dancing!”
But not everything was as clean as it seems. For example, outerwear that looks like it’s made from suit fabric, complete with archival check prints, is actually made from recycled waterproof, windproof and weatherproof materials. The Houndstooth check that was used repeatedly throughout the pieces was much more, as it was reversed in blue or gray centered patterns, interspersed with floral motifs taken from those aforementioned rugs.
This goes on to inform the scarves and shoes that the designer said “remembered [him] of his time in London.” We think this was captured perfectly in one final look, a houndstooth design trench coat that straps and drapes beautifully from broad shoulders to floor-length narrowness.
In general, the designer said it best himself. “If you separate all of that, it’s a very wearable outfit. I’ve always made clothes that people – people – wear.”
Take a look at Paul Smith’s FW23 collection above and stay tuned to Hypebeast for more Paris Fashion Week FW23 content.
ICYMI, take a look behind the scenes of Givenchy FW23.