Friday, 15 November 2013

Paul Smith takes us on a tour of his recreated HQ at London's Design Museum design / 14 Nov 2013 / By Katrina Israel

The creative clutter that makes up Sir Paul Smith's everyday existence has been decamped into a new exhibition titled 'Hello, My Name is Paul Smith' at London's Design Museum. The inspirational showcase includes a replica of the designer's famed Covent Garden office pictured here
'The stuff that refines you', and taking one look around Sir Paul Smith's new exhibition at London's Design Museum, you get the sense that the designer is similarly inspired. The creative clutter that makes up Smith's everyday existence has been decamped into the showcase 'Hello, My Name is Paul Smith'.

Just don't call it a retrospective. 'It's absolutely not a retrospective,' he insists, heading a tour around the exhibit, his renowned wit and curiousity leading the way, and adding with a smile 'the show comes from the heart, not from the wallet'. The installation instead celebrates the stuff of his life's work, much of which has fuelled his design process and vice versa, rather than a plotted timeline of collections and career successes.

And while many designers crave a clean, sterilised space in order to sustain their creativity, Smith is legendarily quite the opposite. A trait that his fans have well and truly caught onto, to the extend that his former Kean street London office is famously bursting at the seams with curios to the point where it's almost a personal museum. 'The post is fantastic!' Smith continues, 'I just had five huge cartons of spinning tops delivered from Italy, which just said: "I know Paul Smith likes things".' Of course, as an accomplished collector he also has an impressive portfolio of art and retail conquests, but it's the little things (toy robots, buttons, Rolleiflex cameras) that fuel his creativity, and they're almost all decamped here, including 70,000 buttons.


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