Style & Design
Originally published on Wednesday, 17th September 2008
Charm is a much underrated commodity in style, likewise wit. The chapeaux of Monsieur Smith have both charm and wit, added to which they are clever. Since graduating from RCA this designer has developed a signature style which features millinery that is poised, yet never overstated.
This season, the clever trick was layered hats: start with a tiny cluster of bows or a head-hugging fringe or minuscule fez, and then add perhaps more bows, another shape on top of the fringe or a brim surrounding the fez. Gilded feathers on filigree bands became more elaborate as layers were added. Folies Bergeres? Certainly not - much more couture chic with a hint of the great Zizi Jeanmaire beloved of Yves Saint Laurent.
The men's hats were marvels of woven textures with a distinct air that can only be described as 'jaunty'. Needless to say, the audience was full of enthusiasm. The next important step is for more people to discover the talents of Mr Smith. He certainly proved that there is far more to modern hats than those seen on WAGS at the races. If any buyers are looking for that extra something to add to their boutique, or stylists are searching for finishing touches to a look, this is the designer they should reach for.