PAUL SMITH’S AW23 WOMEN’S COLLECTION MAKES AN ELEGANT DEBUT IN PARIS
Presented in Paris as part of the fashion week calendar, Paul Smith’s AW23 women’s collection is inspired by the architecture and design of the modernist movement, with a collage of abstract prints, tactile fabrics and new takes on traditional tailoring and evening.
Photographed on model Lily McMenamy, the AW23 women’s collection subverts and juxtaposes traditional menswear codes – such as shirting stripes, heritage checks and classic tailoring and eveningwear – with an overtly feminine sensibility and silhouette. In particular, the tuxedo is reimagined into a cropped tuxedo jacket and skirt as well as a pink strappy dress, while preppy stripes are reinvented as a silk shirt dress.
That same elegant, feminine silhouette permeates the entire collection, with nipped in waists on suits, slim shirts, form-fitting rollnecks, high-waisted asymmetric trousers and ruched, draped dresses. In particular, a new tailored jacket shape, with strong shoulders, a tied waist and cutaway detail through the front emphasises an hourglass fit. Reflecting that more refined mood, hemlines are also longer with midi, maxi and floor lengths – reinforcing the versatility of day-to-night dressing.
The palette is built on a foundation of black, grey and white with pops of warmer autumnal tones like burgundy, brown and mauve alongside brighter and bolder interruptions of cobalt blue and powder pink.
The prints are drawn from antique interior and upholstery textiles, with the ‘Botanical Collage’ and ‘Rug’ print – thoroughly abstract, patchwork-like designs – taking centre stage in a floor length dress and sweater dress respectively. The interplay between texture and print was also particularly important this season, with the appearance of richer, more tactile fabric choices such as fluid satin, silk, crepe, worsted wool, denim, houndstooth, suede and shearling. Elements of classic textures were also subverted with the use of print, including the ‘Flecks’ print which reimagines traditional tweeds as a ditsy pattern as well as the ‘Big Flower’ superimposed on traditional overcoats, technical jackets and suiting.
Alongside colour and print, unexpected elements – such as the button detailing – and accessories, like the extra-long scarf and neckerchief – add that casual, playful touch that Paul Smith has become known for. Another hallmark Paul Smith motif – the Signature Stripe – is also developed for AW23 with the embossed, tonal Shadow Stripe in black and white across bags.
The collection also includes the AW23 Mulberry x Paul Smith bag collection, which first made its debut at the men’s AW23 show in January. A celebration of both companies’ British heritage and commitment to craft, the unisex collaboration reworks Mulberry’s classic messenger bag, the Antony, using Paul Smith’s Signature Stripe webbing straps, bold colour-blocking and Shadow Stripe embossing. The capsule also includes two brand new silhouettes – the Antony Clip and the Antony Tote. Each style is crafted in the UK at Mulberry’s carbon-neutral Somerset factories with leather sourced from Gold Standard tanneries certified by the Leather Working Group.
Photographer: Casper Kofi
Stylist: Nell Kalonji
Model: Lily McMenamy
Hair: Louis Ghewy
Makeup: Patrick Glatthaar
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