Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, as the old saying goes, and that’s certainly true in the case of Paul Smith‘s retail business. At just three square metres and originally containing an Afghan hound as well as the British designer, his first shop in Nottingham would have even the most creative estate agents struggling to big up its dimensions. Now the box has been recreated in all(?!) its glory as an exhibit of Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith at the Design Museum, London.
Sir Paul has got a bit of a reputation for “collecting things” (that’s how one euphemistically refers to an obsessive hoarder when they are a legend), and his current Covent Garden studio – also recreated at the museum – is famously packed to the rafters with bits and bobs. This habit, though, is more than just a foible, it’s a vital part of his creative process. We Heart has carried a quote about inspiration taken from one of Smith’s books on its home page – “You can find inspiration in everything, and if you can’t, look again” – for the last couple of years, and in this exhibition we are offered an amazing window into the mind of a fashion great, to see just what he has been looking at over the years and how his effects have informed his work. There’s a lot of ground to cover, a lot of stories to tell, and this suitably large-scale event is running until 9 March.