Feature:Paul Smith Loves Architecture

Paul Smith is known for ‘classic with a twist’: a beautiful navy blue suit but with an unusual patterned lining, a striped blue and white shirt but with a contrasting cuff. With this in mind my shop in Nottinghill Gate, which is in a house built in 1850, has been perfectly restored on the outside but inside has a modern glass staircase, Andy Warhol prints and a mixture of modern and old furniture. Willoughby House, in Nottingham, built in 1738 follows the same idea perfectly restored, guided by English Heritage but mixing old and new elements.


Photo: Paul Smith 



I love Architecture from Palladio to Frank O. Gehry. I take my inspiration from observations during my travels around the world, antique textiles, graffiti, art or architecture. It could be the perfect proportion of the work of Andrea Palladio helping me with the perfect proportion of a jacket, the length, shape, lapel size, pockets etc.

A Byzantine church with its beautiful simplicity can help me with minimal white clothes with tiny stitches and no fuss styling.

The Italian architect Carlo Scarpa's work inspires me a lot. He mixes rough with smooth. Old with new. I interpret this through a mix of tweed with silk, or washed old looking fabrics with sharp modern fabrics.

The Pompidou Centre in Paris by Richard Rogers and Penzo Piano put all the working on the outside of the building, electrics, plumbing, elevators. This inspired me to make garments inside out with the seams exposed.


Photo: Paul Smith 



Mexican architect Luis Barragan is a master of colour (as is artist Henri Matisse). His simple graphic buildings have helped me be more bold with colour. I could go on and on, architecture along with art is the love of my life, but maybe I should stop now.

Architects: my modern favourites are: Luis Barragan; Charles and Ray Eames; Albert Frey; Le Corbusier; Richard Meier; Mies van der Rohe; Carlo Scarpa; Tobia Scarpa; Frank Lloyd Wright; Tadao Ando; Marcel Breuer; Frank O. Gehry; Toyo Ito and Jose Oubrerie to name just a few!