Monday, 12 July 2010
Forever Shop: Sir Paul Smith
That's Not My Age is a big Sir Paul Smith fan. I love his Britishness, his modesty and of course, his trademark stripes. Back in the eighties, the Nottingham-born designer coined the phrase 'classics with a twist' and though thirty years later, that term may feel a bit tired, I think it sums up the essence of PS nicely. As a collector of random paraphenalia, my favourite store is the one on Bond Street selling art, second-hand books and furniture. It's where I found my favourite Norman Parkinson book, Lifework, published for M&S in 1987.
A small selection of Paul Smith shirts can be found in the wardrobe of Mr That's Not My Age (usually the wrong way round on the hangers!), together with a drawer full of stripey socks. Similarly the brother in Manhattan has developed a penchant for PS - and I'm sure it's because after 10 years in New York, he hankers after a touch of quintessential British style. Together with my blog, it's one of the few things that remind him of home.
Anyway, to emphasize the enduring appeal of design and style, the Forever Shop at Selfridges has asked Sir Paul Smith, 64, to choose his top 10 books, and they are:
Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D. H. Lawrence
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi
The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn, David Okuefuna
The World in 1900: A Colour Portrait, Marc Walter and Sabine Arqua
Bauhaus - World of Art, Frank Whitford
Saul Steinberg - Illuminations, Smith
Christian Dior: The Man Who Made the World Look New, Marie France Pochna
Yves Saint-Laurent: A Biography, Alice Rawsthorn
1Domus 1928-1999 volume 1-12, Taschen
Personally, I wouldn't have chosen Harry Potter or Hanif Kureishi but I turned to the literary expert in our house for guidance. The Blog Widower has plenty of spare time on his hands to read books, so I asked his opinion of the top 10, 'I don't think much of his choice of fiction,' came the knowing reply, 'But yeah - Saul Steinberg, Bauhaus, Albert Kahn - his style books are really good.'
So, together, we've come up with the That's Not My Age top 10, see if you can tell which are his and hers:
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
Hangover Square, Patrick Hamilton
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Allure, Diana Vreeland
An Education, Lynn Barber
Decline and Fall, Evelyn Waugh
Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
The Beautiful Fall, Alicia Drake
Disgrace, JM Coetzee
Designs for Living, Josef + Anni Albers
What do you think of Paul Smith's top 10?
Forever Shop is in the Wonder Room Concept Store, Selfridges from July 14 - August 15 2010.
The painting of Sir Paul Brierley Smith by James Lloyd can be found in the National Portrait Gallery.