Collage-work is a consistent theme carried over from New York to London, placing a new spin on the way designers serve up enticing prints for Fall/Winter 2014. Instead of focusing on a singular theme, they’re hodge-podged together in a stylistic mash-up of contrasting shapes, textures and fabrics. At Prabal Gurung it was a folkloric Nepalese pattern, at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi it was a repeated tesseract motif, and at Roksanda Ilincic it was abstract appliqués. Paul Smith, after over 30 years in the fashion industry, knows how to read the sign of the times. His Fall/Winter 2014 collection glistens with vibrant silk paisleys and pinstripes on loose pajamas and eccentric smoking jackets, but after establishing a 70s mood with clashing arrangements he puts the visual onslaught on hiatus lest it become stale. Textured neutrals take over, with wool trousers, mustard yellow knits, and wallpaper damask outerwear and pants. Shapes are loose and low-slung; hip without trying too hard. Plush fur vests add a dense layer of luxury to Smith’s minimal daywear, and then he returns to his boudoir silk theme for evening, transforming it into slouchy suiting and oversized gowns. For this occasion, Smith was able to take the measure of the populace and return to them wearable classics with a signature eclectic twist that doubled their style return for the upcoming season.
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