February 12, 2007
Paul Smith doesn't really do theme-y collections. Whatever the season, his concept revolves around the brand of modern Britishness he has personally made accessible throughout the world. For Fall, though, he seemed almost inadvertently to have picked up the current twenties vibe in drop-waisted Deco chiffon dresses, long lean cardigans, fluid pants, and the odd shawl-collared Poiret coat. Since these were followed by a section of gamekeeper-check knickers and vests and a khaki WWI greatcoat, it was easy to think, just for a moment, "Aha, of course! Lady Chatterley's Lover," and "What a clever English spin." It was only a flash, though, because after that it was back to the natty pinstripe pantsuits, some randomly misplaced neon knits, and tux tailoring for evening. Not that any of this was a letdown particularly, but by the end, that intriguing D.H. Lawrence moment had vanished from memory among the general merchandise.