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Paul Smith challenge Fashion Design students to a menswear design project

Final year students created innovative portfolios in response to a design brief set for the Paul Smith Japan brand

Savannah Smith, Jacob Pountney, Lucy Wood and Giuliano Martino
Savannah Smith, Jacob Pountney and Lucy Wood with Giuliano Martello

Students in their final year of our BA (Hons) Fashion Design course have recently completed an industry project for Paul Smith’s Japan Collection. As a global fashion company with local roots, renowned for its classic cutting and quirky detailing, the Paul Smith Japan Collection menswear label encompasses classic tailoring with eccentric prints that defines the British aesthetic. The menswear students were set a challenging brief which required them to create a body of portfolio work proposing an AW19/20 collection for the brand.

With a first prize of a month-long placement at Paul Smith’s Nottingham studio, along with fabrics for their final graduate collection, the students rose to the challenge. Senior lecturer Dawn Eyre told us: “The standard of work gets better each year. We’re really proud of the work which the students have all produced – it is of such a high quality.”

Paul Smith Men’s Coordinator, Giuliano Martello, has been overseeing the project from its outset in October last year. He returned at the end of November to review the students’ work and to provide valuable feedback, before the students presented their finished work to him this February.  He reiterated the high quality of the work, and found the decision-making process to be particularly difficult as a result.

Jacob's winning line-up
Jacob's winning line-up

Savannah Smith came in third place, with Giuliano commenting on how she was able to take on board the feedback to really progress her ideas. Lucy Wood was awarded second place, with Giuliano commenting on her brilliant prints. Jacob Pountney was named as the overall winner for his “truly unique and original concept.”

We caught up with Jacob to chat about his project. He explained: “We had to research into the Japanese market and design a six outfit collection for the Paul Smith Japan brand, with inspiration taken from forms of British heritage. I based my project on my grandma’s family who were coal miners in South Wales, looking at traditional Welsh wools and bedspreads that have been passed down in my family through the generations. I then contrasted this with the style and clothes worn by Prince Charles.”

We then asked Jacob how it felt to be named as the winner. He told us: “I honestly couldn’t believe it – I was so shocked! The standard of work was so strong and so many amazing collections were presented, so I wasn’t expecting it at all. It felt amazing to have had my work recognised by such an iconic brand and it definitely felt like all my hard work had paid off. I’m still trying to take it all in!”

Paul Smith challenge Fashion Design students to a menswear design project

Published on 7 March 2019
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Current students; School of Art & Design

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