Tag Archives: Design Museum

Exhibition: Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith


I love a good fashion exhibition, a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look into a fashion house, a designer or even a fashion icon, what the Design Museum have done to honour Paul Smith is much more than a celebration of his fashion but of him, his inspiration, how he ticks, it is more about his personality.

Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith, is a totally apt title for this exhibition, of course his fashion is explored, well actually it only has one room dedicated to the designer’s clothes, it is more about where he works, where he gets his inspiration, the items, pictures and trinkets he has picked up along the way, as well as a historical look back at his career to date. It really is fascinating.

The exhibition is sectioned off into themes, there is a mock-up of the first shop he owned in Nottingham, a 3m x 3m box, a recreation of his “cluttered” office, a gallery lined with framed pictures of images found, sent or captured by the designer, a replica of his design studio, as well a look at how the brand’s first showroom space in Paris inside a hotel suite, and a digital room featuring a short psychedelic film ‘Inside Paul’s Head’ along with screens showcasing abstract images, which is narrated by Smith explaining his creative process.

There are also rooms dedicated to the designer’s numerous collaborations from cars to teapots, his individual approach to the design of his shops, which includes a wall decorated with buttons, as well as a look behind-the-scenes of his menswear show in June, and there is even a fun ‘selfie’ area where you can snap yourself with life-size cardboard cut-outs of Smith.

There are many favourite bits in this exhibition – I love how his office is the focal point of the exhibit, it was fascinating to see the things that he keeps close by and that inspire him – from rabbit figurines, a pink Dyson, vintage cameras, a bike, and stacks of books. It makes me feel that my organised chaos surrounded by Barbie dolls is completely normal!!!

It was also nice to look back at the history of the brand through the invites and launch gifts – I wonder how many people will be checking eBay to get their hands on Paul Smith fashion transfers!!! The other highlight had to be the gallery filled with pictures he has collected over the years – some of which were pictures and letters that people had sent him and it was nice to see that he collects them.

What I loved most about this exhibition is its appeal to non-fashion people, fashion actually takes a back seat and it’s the creativity that shines through and it really is a fascinating look in to the mind of a fashion designer.

‘Hello My Name is Paul Smith’ at the Design Museum runs from November 15 – March 9, 2014.

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Showgirl Glamour: The Brilliance Of Louboutin

This morning was an amazing end to quite a deary April as the sun came out for the press preview for the Christian Louboutin Retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum, as part of the shoe designer’s 20th anniversary. If like me, you love shoes then you will adore this magical and playful exhibit centring around Louboutin’s life, his inspirations, his most amazing creations, and most of all his passion for showgirls, women and glamour.

The exhibit has a bit of everything so many exquisite shoes I didn’t dare count, a giant 17m long Louboutin signature red sole with seating to watch Dita Von Teese do her burlesque thing, OTT displays on a carousel, helter-skelter and even a section just for the Fetish collection with photographs taken by David Lynch.

My favourite section had to be The Atelier, a recreation of his Parisian atelier, which acts like a behind-the-scenes look into Louboutin’s design process, including a trapeze in the corner that he practices on when he has time. This section was an overload of excitement for me, not only were there amazing shoes like throughout the rest of the exhibit, sketches showing the shoe design process, and other Louboutin projects, but it is in this section of the exhibition that Barbie shines.

I have been tweeting that I hoped Barbie appeared in the exhibition and she sure does, cat burglar Barbie takes centre stage wrapped in the Louboutin red ribbon, but the others from the collection also appear.

I love the way the exhibition has been set out into themes from Louboutin’s love of transparency to his need for travel, and the exquisite designs in the handcrafted section, this exhibit could have easily been based around his collections and just been about shoes but the Design Museum have given an amazing insight into Louboutin’s world that I am so grateful for.

I also loved the way it was displayed as a cabaret, with lots of mirrored panels, bare bulbs, neon-lit ‘Entrée’ sign, and the trapeze rings, apparently all done on the Louboutin’s assertion that “every woman wants to be a showgirl”, and if you don’t leave wanting to be a feather ruffling show girl you didn’t get the beauty of this exhibition!!!

The exhibition is only on for 10-weeks, until July 9, and I am sure that it is going to be a sell out so if you love shoes, dream of buying a pair of red soles, or just love beautiful things then get yourself down to the Design Museum, London, trust me you won’t regret it – I absolutely loved it.

**Also I took more than 250 images, and it took hours to edit, so want to see more head on over to my Facebook**

[Pics: all taken by Fashionista Barbie]