Paul Smith claimed that after three seasons of rock 'n' roll, he wanted
people to calm down. So, to the tune of the easy-listening classic "Theme
from A Summer Place," he imagined his young men coming to Grandmother's house in the country to open it up for the season. They were a dressed-up lot in their ties and pocket squares, their pastel-toned jackets (with buttoned double-vents) and cuffed linen trousers, their candy-colored stripes and muted florals. The bright ethnic touches that usually illuminate Smith's collections were absent this season (though Sir Paul does love his chunky belt buckles).
Instead, it was Granny's interiors that had some influence on the clothes, with prints based on wallpaper patterns and embroidery drawn from cushion covers. This looked sensational in the form of hummingbirds, flowers, and butterflies on the background of a crisp white cotton shirt. In fact, all the embroidered, appliquéd white shirts in the final group were irresistible. Their serene purity hinted at genteel luxury (you'd need Granny's housekeeper to keep a white shirt looking starched like that). Smith did allow himself one blast from his rockin' past: Bowie's "Rebel, Rebel" played on the soundtrack. But it was in a lilting, sun-dappled version from The Life Aquatic soundtrack by Brazilian folk singer Seu Jorge.