The first fascinating thing we learnt was that all of the prints across the men's bags are printed in the UK using a special sublimation process. This means the print is actually sucked into the fabric and won't ever come out or scratch off. So your bag may get a bit grubby but the print won't ever be affected! For this season Paul has started using a polyester mix (on the cycle components print) which I think really shows off the quality and details of the prints brilliantly. Another addition to the bags this season is the introduction of a cross-grained Saffiano leather on the straps. This leather is much more hard wearing and durable than previous choices and will ensure your bag will wear well, whatever you throw at it!
This season there is also a good number of items that are made in the UK, which we've noticed people are increasingly looking for. It's nice to know that a British designer is utilising our great traditions and workmanship. Some notable pieces are the women's cable knit snood, hat and mittens. This cute set was all knitted up in Scotland, with a beautiful mix of knit styles on the snood and hat, you just know this is going to be cosy! Just look for the 'Made in the British Isles' swing tags on pieces for items that are made right here.
The knitwear, both men's and ladies, always have a nod to the signature stripes, usually in a more muted tone. But as a great example of how the accessories are linked to the main fashion lines - we were told that one of Paul's inspirations this season were jellyfish (???) and you can see some neon flashes throughout some of the knitwear.
We were also told that the signature Paul Smith stripes and swirls are being pulled back a bit, you can already see that this season. Don't worry they aren't dropping the stripes, but want to be more selective with how they use their signature. This is evident in the women's handbags, looking at the collection the swirls are mainly confined to the edges and trims allowing just a hint of the swirling colours. Personally we think this is a nice move as it makes that hit of colour a bit more subtle and elegant. Check out this Globe bag for one!
Pro tip - If your covetable Paul Smith handbag should get dirty then a tiny bit of washing up liquid in warm water lightly applied should help lift out marks, also a spit polish will lift out subtle marks.
Something else to look out for this season are the special pieces with the 'Daydreaming with my Camera' swing tags. These pieces feature a photo print taken by Paul on his trips around London. So the beautiful hankies we have in store are all shot by Paul - we really like the close up Number 20 as this is the Paul Smith head office front door!
As for next season look out for dark prints and colours and the use of more upholstery style fabrics. We all cooed over some beautifully heavy striped fabric that was going to be used on bags and shown the next Mini on location prints...think spotlights...