Paul Smith Tuxes for Women Are Heating Up the Awards-Season Red Carpet

Paul Smith Tux Collection

The British designer taps into the recent popularity of men's tailoring for women among stars including Blake Lively, Claire Foy, Evan Rachel Wood, Jessica Chastain and Tracee Ellis Ross with a 13-piece capsule collection available only at his iconic pink-hued L.A. store.

Tapping into the recent popularity of men's tailoring for women among stars including Blake Lively, Claire Foy, Evan Rachel Wood, Jessica Chastain and Tracee Ellis Ross, British designer Paul Smith is releasing a limited-edition women's tuxedo collection, available only at his iconic pink-hued L.A. store. 

Just in time for the holiday and awards seasons, the 13-piece capsule, $395 to $1,495, ranges from a tuxedo coat dress and slim-fit jacket, to slouchy trousers and a satin blouse with tie.

"As someone who has been in the industry for longer than many designers working today it's always interesting to see trends come, go and then come back again," says Smith, who founded his menswear company in 1970 and added womenswear in 1993. "When I first began designing women's clothes it was because stylists like Grace Coddington were shooting my men's clothes worn by women," he remembers, namechecking the flame-haired former model and Vogue creative director at large, as well as Patti Smith and Heloise Letissier as his longtime female muses.

The collection is limited to classic black and white, although his menswear, loved by Armie Hammer, Gary Oldman and Daniel Day-Lewis, is more distinct for its vibrant hues and details. And the Insta-bait, bubble-gum-colored facade of his Melrose Avenue store is now the stuff of L.A. legend — in September, the wall was vandalized by a street artist named Thrashbird with the words, “Go fuck ur selfie.”

“When I first designed that shop, I gave myself the challenge of coming up with something eye-catching on Melrose Avenue, which was miles and miles long and just filled with similar-looking shopfronts. I never expected the big pink box to become the destination that it is today. And the graffiti artists are helping to keep the local pink paint suppliers in business, too!”

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.