Hello, My Name is Paul Smith
15 November 2013 – 22 June 2014
A retrospective of the fashion designer Paul Smith, who has become known for his idiosyncratic take on traditional British styling.
Watch our video-tour of the exhibition, including an interview with Paul Smith.
The Nottingham-born entrepreneur who began his career at 15 in a clothing warehouse, Paul Smith is famous for his witty style, something he describes as “classic with a twist”. From rainbow pinstripe shirts to suits lined with vintage fabrics, Smith is renowned for taking a tired formula and re-energising it.
His first shop in London was in Covent Garden's Floral Street, from where he sold his designs together with quirky objects and items from flea markets – a habit he has continued throughout his career. Perhaps the most famous example of which was in the 1980s, when the Filofax's popularity sky-rocketed after Smith began selling it in his stores.
This exhibition celebrates Smith’s distinctly British style through the designers he collaborated with and the objects that inspired them.
There is a life-size recreation of the designer’s office at Paul Smith HQ, stuffed with all sorts of curious artefacts the designer has received from fans over the years, ranging from cowbells to a nativity scene made from peanuts. For Smith, these strange offerings have been a fascinating insight into the way the public think about design.
He is also showing many of the collaborations he has made over the years, from designing Tate’s gallery guard uniforms to the jerseys he fashioned for the Giro d’Italia, revealing the versatility of his practice.