Paul Smith: Gentleman Designer

Friday, 7 November 2014

Last week at university we were shown the documentary 'Paul Smith: Gentleman Designer', which follows fashion designer Paul Smith throughout his daily routine - providing an intimate and endearing portrait of the quirky king of British fashion and look behind the doors of Paul Smith.

The documentary reveals how very much involved Smith is with regards to his brand; showing him helping to open up his London flagship store in the early hours of the morning and participating within model castings for his show, taking polaroids of the models. Smith is very much 'hands on' within his approach to the brand which is very humbling to see indeed as so often designers are simply 'the face of' their eponymous brand and have no real input or insight. 

Smith is quite the antithesis as inspiration is fundamental for the brand and the documentary explores where and how he gets his inspiration for future collections, showing him on his travels to flea markets in London as well as more exotic locations such as Paris and Japan. He searches for interesting pieces of vintage fashion which inform the shapes of future Paul Smith pieces and photographs global architecture. This firmly reinforces Smith's notion that, "You can find inspiration in everything", highlighting just how important it is to him as he chooses to collect trinkets and treasures in a sort of Aladdin's cave - which he calls his office.  

The documentary shows Smith to be not only an extremely creative individual, but also a breath of fresh air within the often serious and slightly dusty fashion industry - particularly as he gallops around his office wearing a fur stole as a tail and his colleagues do not flinch in the slightest as though 'that is just Paul Smith and that's how he is'. 

Paul Smith shows just how dedication, creativity and having a good sense of humour can serve you well in life. 

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