A journalist at the press conference for the hotly-anticipated Hello My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum made a very interesting point. Paul Smith makes stripy socks and nice suits, like many other designers, what is it about his stripy socks that people buy into? Simple answer: it’s him. It’s his fun, his energy, his silly faces, his flowery shirts, his bandy legs and his unabashed cheerfulness that makes us want to buy his clothes! This is also precisely why this exhibition of his career to date has to be one of the most enjoyable in the history of shows, it’s 100% infused with happiness and celebration. From the walls covered in framed miscellany taken from Paul’s own staircase (only a tiny fraction of the complete archive), to the recreation of his infamous stuff-filled office, this show had journalists and photographers go all squishy and giddy with joy whilst ambling around.
Hello my Name is Paul Smith couldn’t be a better name for this retrospective. Essentially, it’s like being invited to wander around his brain, following him from his first ever 3m x 3m Nottingham shop, to the meeting of his wife Pauline, to his love for cycling to the countries, flowers and people that inspire him. It’s not so much as a wander, perhaps more of a personal tour as small, torn-off bits of paper with hand-scrawled notes from Paul explain what each exhibit is, and what it means to him.
And the clothes. The clothes! Paul has handpicked a selection of his favourite garments that have been created over the years and they too are almost a window into his very well-decorated head. Fun, enthusiastic, considered and guaranteed to put a smile on your face, we can’t recommend a trip to this exhibition enough (even if it is just to run your palms over the 70,000 buttons stuck to one of the walls).
- The creative team behind John Grant’s post-apocalyptic world
- They have beauty, they have grace, they are Jack Mears’ ceramic dogs
- Caroline Tompkins deftly captures goggle marks, swim caps and foam floats
- Illustrator Jan Robert Duennweller's erratic style creates "visual headlines"
- Réka Neszmélyi's boundary breaking identity for Hungarian Bánkitó Cultural & Music Festival 2016
- Five things to remember as a young creative
- Benedict Redgrove’s beautifully hypnotic film about how a tennis ball is created
- Tommy Cash subverts the tropes of rap videos with a fleshy celebration of the human body (NSFW)
- Ian Davis’ picturesque paintings of bureaucratic dystopia
- Is it ever OK to work for free?
- Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard’s brand mark and identity
- Peter Saville and Tate Design Studio create beer can artwork for Switch House pale ale