E-mail to a friend: Have you been to Hasselt yet? I haven’t, but I’d like to see this: Mode Museum Hasselt.
Reply: We’re going!!!
For, if Paul Smith chooses the Flemish city of Hasselt, capital of the Eastern province of Limburg, as the first – and so far only – city on Continental Europe to host his retrospective, thereby putting it high on the fashion map, who are we to argue. Or was it the other way round? Was it Hasselt, through Kenneth Ramaekers the resourceful director of the Fashion Museum, that did the trick?
Either way, ”Hello, My Name is Paul Smith” – a retrospective honouring the iconic British designer – is now open in Hasselt, until 07 June 2015. And, if my reading is correct, its next stop will probably be Singapore. So, if you missed it in London last year, enter coordinates 50°55′N 05°20′E on your GPS, fasten your seat belts and get over to Hasselt fast for your only chance to immerse into the creative, beautiful mind of the multi-talented Mr Smith – without leaving Europe.
You will be rewarded with an extended version of the original held in London, covering the entire surface of Mode Museum, wall to wall.
You will be taken on a trip, beginning with the humble 3 x 3 metres windowless room that served as the First Shop, in 1970.
You will pause in front of Paul’s Art Wall, his collection of photographs and prints.
You will walk through a striped maze only to come upon one of his most iconic collaborations.
You will walk by his first showroom, a bedroom in a Paris hotel where he laid out his first collection consisting of six shirts, two jumpers and two suits; only one person turned up but he placed an order, kickstarting Paul’s career.
You will step inside Paul’s Head.
You will pay a Tribute to his wife Pauline, because without her, none of this would have happened.
You will NOT want to leave the Design Studio, where all the creative ideas, references, prints, clothing and fabric patterns are developed into objects of desire.
You WILL want to try on those impeccably cut florals and prints or some of the ”classic with a twist” blazers from the hanging racks.
Accessorise them with a watch.
And then, all buttoned-up and striking a pose…
You will gasp in awe at this sight – but don’t even try to find an empty spot in the beautiful mess that is Paul’s office!
Dear Mr Paul,
Hello, My name is Hiroko Sugimura
I’m studying about cloth making
And, I like your cloth design, spirit and your face…
Shared credits for images (Lia & Konstantinos)
Hasselt, 22 February 2015