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.

European Rocker Paul Smith

Godfrey Deeny
January 24th, 2010 @ 4:58 PM - Paris

Sir Paul Smith has always had a big rock star following. Everyone from Mick Jagger to indie stars Franz Ferdinand have been repeat customers. So, this season, Sir Paul returned the compliment – his Fall 2010 collection was a homage to the great gods of rock n’ roll.

“I’d call this collection ‘European Rock,’ thought-out clothes that would work on great musicians,” Smith said after his show effectively completed the four-day and 42-show French season on Sunday night, Jan. 24.

The British designer even boasted a churning pre-release soundtrack from Them Crooked Vultures, a new supergroup composed of Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and legendary Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Yet if the clothes echoed any halcyon period in rock, it was probably New Wave, with lots of post-punk plaid jackets, though updated for our times with hooded sweatshirts.

Getting earthy, Smith used eight non-professional models in his cast of 25, everyone from a couple of band members to fledgling actors, and the casting was all the better for it.

Smith, a classic-with-a-twist tailor, also made a big leap by sending out a quintet of little boy suits with drainpipe pants and micro jackets, meaning, the bottom of the jacket barely reached the trouser pocket.

If any designer is the master of details, it’s Smith, who tweaked a tuxedo skillfully with a knit wool lapel and reinvented the dress shirt by combining a ruffled white bib with a ribbed gray cotton jersey – a great item and a clever piece of trompe l’oeil.

A couple of great Chesterfield jackets – one in a superb metallic blue - had every stylist in the medieval Convent des Cordeliers, where the show was staged, noting the reference for a future fashion magazine spread.

Make that a ten page “rock dandy at ease in his country estate” feature.

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