Last weekend, we went along to the Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith exhibition at London’s Design Museum to gain an insight into the career of one of Britain’s leading fashion designers. From what inspires his designs to how he broke into the industry, this exhibition covers it all, and is not only perfect for the Paul Smith fan but also for those looking to break into the world of fashion and design.
How it all began…
The exhibition opens with a replica of Paul Smith’s first-ever shop, Paul Smith Vetements Pour L’Homme, a tiny 3×3 metre square space in Nottingham. In face of his success these days, it’s hard to believe that his business started out so small and that his first show took place in a friend’s flat in Paris. It was even more surprising to discover that his first showroom was a bedroom in Paris featuring just six shirts, two jumpers and two suits! Apparently, only one buyer turned up to place an order and that was the real beginning of his business.
Finding Design Inspiration
The exhibition helps visitors to see that design inspiration really can come from anywhere, explaining that films, artists, photography and general observations can all trigger a design. Would you believe that the Paul Smith stripes are developed by simply winding coloured yarn around cardboard to see if different shades work together?
It does feel that you are being guided around the exhibition by Paul himself thanks to personalized messages and short video content. Add to this pieces from Paul’s own collection of photography and art, family photos and two replicas of his Covent Garden-based office along with his design studio, and you feel totally submerged within the world of Paul Smith.
If there’s one thing that anybody takes away from visiting this exhibition, it’s that if you have skill, work hard and put all of your efforts into your project, you can achieve anything! If you want to check it out for yourself, it's running at the Design Museum until June 2014 and you can find more details here.