by The Talking Wardrobe @bananapalmer
I’ve always thought a lot of Paul Smith’s work but since hearing him speak at a design conference last year I’ve been captivated both by him (he really is very funny) and by his approach to design. Smith started on the the cusp of fashion,working out of a 12ft windowless room in Nottingham, something that I feel most young designers and design students can relate to and part of the allure of his work. The exhibition shows just how far Smith has come from these humble beginnings, starting with a mock up version of the room where it all began and ending with video of Smith and his team getting ready for Paris Fashion Week. In itself, the exhibition charts years of hard-work and passion and shows just how far these, along with a good eye for design can get you.
However, the exhibition is anything but a retrospective. It’s as much about the present as it is the past, a collection of the things that inspire him and that will continue to inspire his work. It certainly inspired me, the main room features a curation of paintings, photographs and images that Smith has collected over the years, things that he draws on for inspiration. Presented in different sizes and in miss-matched frames, there’s no mistaking the fact that Smith is undoubtedly disorganised. It’s clear from the mock ups of his office and studio, that surrounding himself by inspiring images and things that he’s collected along the way are essential to the way in which he works.
Amongst the gallery of inspirational images, and mock up rooms there’s also a room dedicated to the numerous collaborations that Smith has worked on, showcasing that Paul Smith’s design talent isn’t just restricted to the mannequin. From designing ski’s in the classic Paul Smith stripe to collaborating with Robert’s Radio (which probably one of my favourite’s) there’s no mistaking the fact that Paul Smith is very much a brand.
Paul Smith himself once said “you can find inspiration in everything” I certainly came away from the exhibition feeling completely inspired and less guilty about the mass images and objects that i’ve collected over the years and that are slowly taking over my workspace too.
Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith is on at the Design Museum until 09 March 2014.
This blog-post first appeared on The Walking Wardrobe.