'"Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith" Exhibition

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

After receiving the original invitation to attend the opening for the “Hello My Name is Paul Smith” exhibition well over a month ago – and having to turn down the opportunity thanks to work – I finally managed to pay a visit to the fabulous display. The exhibition is currently being held in The Lighthouse in Glasgow until March 20th so I cut it incredibly close.

Hello My Name Is Paul Smith

After making the hour long trip to Glasgow and being unable to use Google Maps to actually find The Lighthouse (my sense of direction is horrendous), my other half and I finally managed to find our way into the exhibition. Neither of us really knew what to expect; we assumed we would see clothes but that was about it.

Upon entering the exhibition, we were greeted by a wall full of art prints, photographs and drawings. Some of the items displayed were the works of some very famous artists whereas other pieces could genuinely be something you would find on Etsy. Regardless of where the items came from, they all mean something to Paul Smith and make a rather delightful introduction to his world.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

Following on from the first of a few walls covered in framed pictures is a replica of Paul Smith’s original store that was opened in Nottingham. It was 3m x 3m square, had no windows and the store manager was his dog, Homer. I wouldn’t be able to store my collection of shoes in such a small space but somehow, Paul Smith started his quest for fashion domination in that tiny spot.

Once you’re out of the claustrophobic store replica, you’re greeted with another wall of art prints along with a voiceover from Paul Smith. Discreetly tucked away in the corner is another replica but this time, it’s of the hotel room in Paris which Paul Smith and his wife Pauline used as their very first showroom.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

Further on in the exhibition is another replica that will make any clean freak hyperventilate. The chaos that lies before the viewer is of Paul Smith’s office complete with vintage items, fabric, paperwork and very little surface space. My other half and I spent a long time taking in this part of the display and even then, we didn’t manage to cram it all into our brains; there was just so much stuff!

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

As you approach the end of the exhibit, you can hear Paul Smith’s voice discussing what went into the 2014 Paris fashion show. If you walk towards his voice, you’ll finally find the clothes! While the majority of the designs hang from railings, there are 4 outfits shown on mannequins. The lighting throughout the entire display is dark and screams high end fashion (seriously, what is with high end stores having such dim lighting?) but the loud, colourful clothes pop against the poor lighting.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

It’s in this part of the exhibit where you really see Paul Smith’s love of colour and contrast come together. There are pieces on show that I can’t imagine any self-respecting person would want to wear but then there are the items that you just want to take off the rack and immediately change into. I found myself trying to create outfits with the items shown and although each outfit became more ridiculous than the last, I still wanted to put them all on and wander around Glasgow.

The designs that Paul Smith creates inspires my inner child. Y’know, the child that wandered around in pink zebra print leggings and turned up to places wearing a bright pink, sequinned dress and glittery shoes while everyone else wore jeans and trainers. Dear god my current style is so boring in comparison to my childhood.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

While I may have left The Lighthouse wondering why I was wearing a camel coat and knee high boots rather than something bright and patterned, I still enjoyed the entire thing. I regret not being able to attend the opening due to having to be a responsible and mature adult (ew) but I’m happy I did eventually attend it nonetheless. I also acquired a pink Paul Smith eraser so that may have added to my overall enjoyment. What? I’m fickle okay!

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