Paul Smith: 'It's time for men to dress up again'

It’s a very modern, very up-to-date collection. Sure, I was inspired by the brilliance of past cinema, but this isn’t a nostalgic collection. We’ve all spent a lot of time at home in casual clothes, and now that we can go out again, that habit isn’t going away. Some of the biggest tailoring brands in the world are struggling, because people aren’t wearing classic suits anymore. This collection is a reflection of this phenomenon. I removed the linings to make the suits less structured, I stripped the jackets of their padding, in particular at the level of the shoulders, and I favored more fluid materials. It’s a way of being part of the times we are going through. I have many shops and often spend my Saturday afternoons in my shop in Mayfair. I stay as close as possible to people’s desires: I don’t just read articles on the Internet, I speak directly with them about how they want to dress.

You wanted to dedicate this collection to men who want to dress up. Why?

Clothes make the man. Our clothes say a lot about us and, you know, when the cinemas and restaurants reopened and reality took over, I hoped that people would feel like partying and dressing up. I’m not necessarily talking about going out in a suit and tie, but just wearing something other than tracksuits, and having fun with your wardrobe. It really is time to dress well again, and play with our clothes.

How cinema has shaped this collection ?

The collection is loosely inspired by films that were released when I was 18 years, the cinema of the New Wave, which was very different from what we used to see before. The color of these films was all the more interesting to me because it was totally different from anything I had seen before. It was a vibrant and exciting hue I decided to infuse into my clothes. These filmmakers had decided to break with tradition in a flamboyant way. Seeing the poster for a Jean-Luc Godard film was always a delight. I have taken these prints back to knits, shirts and T-shirts. I also used prints from other great moments in cinema, such as Twin Peaks, the David Lynch series. We find this wonderful zigzag pattern, but also the blue filter that he put on his camera and which gave the image this strange vibration that marked the entire collection. My inspirations were mainly centered on color and atmosphere to give a new impetus to the men’s wardrobe.