Monday, March 31, 2014

SMITH II debuts Autumn/Winter Collection 2014

SMITH II Autumn/Winter '14 Collection (photo: Chris Jones)

Charles Smith II
models his own designs
Former model turned designer, Charles Smith II, debuted his SMITH II Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection at Guapo Skills Center last Friday evening to an eclectic crowd. The skateboard park was the perfect backdrop to Smith II's brand of European street fashion and attendees ranged from college kids in club attire to denizens of the Dallas fashion scene dressed in couture.

I had Jan Strimple and London-based designer Levi Palmer on one side of me and DFW Style Daily's Lisa Petty, Heather Lettieri and Jeanette Chivvis on the other side. Smith II attended Paris Fashion Week earlier this year and visited such established houses as Givenchy, John Galliano, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Celine and Chloe. I definitely saw that inspirational experience reflected in this collection.

Smith describes his style as "fashion-forward gothic rock-and-roll" and says he feels like this collection is synonymous with European style and fits and that whether you wear one garment or an entire statement ensemble you will be memorable.

SMITH II Autumn/Winter '14 Collection (photo: Chris Jones)

Lisa Petty in SMITH II A/W 14
photo: Sukilynn Photography
Last August, I attended Smith II's first runway exhibition and came away from that show saying that while I liked Smith's creativity, I found his collection limited in appeal and that it would be interesting to see how he could translate his runway looks to a broader audience. I am pleased to say that this latest collection is all grown up.

"While Charles stayed with his signature black and white palette (with this collection), he shared a very different part of himself than his previous sport inspiration," mused Jan Strimple, "This collection has a more saleable point of view, offering several great choices for his more sophisticated gals. Take a bow, Charles!"

"Charles represents a most rare combination: He is a designer both cutting-edge and humble,"  says Lisa Petty, Editor-in-Chief of DFW Style Daily. "After his artistic vision came to life on Friday evening, he did not kick back and wait for the congrats to roll in on Saturday. He sent thank-you notes and made personal phone calls of appreciation to his team and supporters. And that's what it takes to make it in fashion."

I can back that statement up, as I too got a lovely phone call from Charles on Saturday thanking me for attending the show. 

Smith is becoming a go-to designer for such notables as Angela Simmons, daughter to Rev Run of Run DMC and Karrueche Tran (Chris Brown’s girlfriend). Keep your eyes on this designer, folks. He is definitely one to watch. For more information or to purchase, visit