There's something so uplifting about the sight of plants blooming, especially in unexpected places. Like Paul Smith's London fashion week venue, a vast aluminium-floored industrial warehouse space near King's Cross train station, softened by sprouting patches of planted wild flowers. No wonder the designer, who turned 70 this year, skipped so merrily down this runway to take his post-show bow. In doing so, he demonstrated just how well-cut his suits are - really, who needs jogging pants when you've got a little something in linen by Smith?
Tailoring and gardens are as quintessentially British as he is, and those twin themes defined his approach to Spring '17. He cut his relaxed suits, wide-sleeved spring coats, mid-length dresses and slouchy pants in rust, buttercup yellow, bubble gum pink and grass green with a loose, unstructured line that was all about ease of wear.
"Louche" and "rakish" were the words the designer himself used; his aim, according to the show notes, was to allow "the shape of the body to define the fall of the lines".
To windowpane checks and punchy seersuckers, he added the crayon-like tulip-shaped florals, inspired by a recent show of the late Swedish artist Hilma Af Klint's paintings at the Serpentine Gallery.
Standouts include his long-line shorts-suits, one in navy with a spriggy white floral that from a distance could be polka dots, and those painterly florals on a deep bottle green background.
Smith's clothes transcend trends in a way that's refreshing - he's not about to jump on the Vetements ugly-chic bandwagon, or suddenly start covering everything in sequins. And it's this continuity that makes his vision so appealing. It simply works - and while we're on that subject, he just solved your smart-but-still-casual workwear issues in one fell swoop. Now that's something to skip about.