05 December 2013

Hello My Name is Paul Smith: Exhibition Review

On Tuesday I treated myself to a day off from job and university applications to go and visit the Hello My Name is Paul Smith exhibition at the Design Museum in London SE1 and it was well worth the trip. The exhibition has broken all design museum records for the number of visitors it has received and after viewing it myself this becomes very understandable.

Paul Smith in the hall of pictures
The exhibitions tracks Sir Paul Smith's (he was knighted in 2000) career from a replica of the 3 by 3 metres, windowless room that he called his first shop in 1970 in Byard Lane to a video of the man himself discussing his latest menswear show in Paris. For me the highlight of the show was the replicas of Smith's office and studio (actually located in Covent Garden). The curator Donna Loveday told Vogue 'we really want to take you inside his head and show you what inspires him.' and through these sections of the exhibit I really felt like I had been inside Smith's mind. From the office desk stacked with books (below) to the studio tables covered in fabrics and vintage magazines inspiration was everywhere.

A replica of Smith's Covent Garden office
Clothes feature more in this exhibition than his last exhibition at the museum in 1995. A circular corridor (that rather reminded me of the Mode offices in Ugly Betty) is lined with designs that Smith hand picked from the brands archives (below). The designs are split into four sections: travel, colour, print and British tradition, demonstrating the main inspirations and themes that run throughout Smith's work. At the end of the corridor is the video about Smith's fashion show that was held this year in Paris. This was particularly fascinating for a future fashion promotion student (aka me) but would still be interesting for anyone interested in fashion and again gives an amazing insight into Smith's head.

The Corridor of Designs
Although the majority of my readers live outside the UK I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is near to London. The was one of the best fashion exhibitions I have ever seen, that opened a window into the designers mind and was informative as well as visually exciting and enjoyable. Time Out gave it 4 stars but I would give it 5! Let me know if you visited the exhibition and what you thought of it in the comments!

Hello My Name is Paul Smith, The Design Museum London, SE1, until 9th March 2014

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