urx unit loader Paul Smith hits Hollywood


Where in Los Angeles are you likely to find famous artists, actors, designers, stylists and even a former Sex Pistol doing last-minute Christmas shopping?

At legendary British designer Paul Smith‘s first L.A. boutique. And judging by the turnout Thursday night, there’s no doubt stars will be trolling his eclectic Melrose shop for unusual things to wear during the 2006 awards season.

Spotted at Smith’s opening party:

Photo: Paul Smith welcomes stylist Rachel Zoe and actress Joy Bryant to his Melrose Avenue boutique.
(Donato Sardella / WireImage)

]]>Former Pistol Steve Jones, artist Ed Ruscha and his wife Danna, pink-haired jewelry designer Tarina Tarantino, actress Kelly Lynch and husband Mitch Glazer, designer Henry Duarte, Tropicana nightlife czarina Amanda Demme, stylist-of-the-moment Rachel Zoe (she dresses everyone who matters) with hot young actress Joy Bryant, "Alias" daddy Victor Garber and Eli Wallach congratulating Smith on his new digs, sipping bubbly and snarfing slices of purple potatoes from New Zealand, piled high with caviar.

Smith’s first store opened in Nottingham, Britain, in 1970 and he first showed his menswear in Paris in ’76. He’s known for a bold use of color, a sense of mischief, and designs that mix traditional with trendy, vintage with modern. The overachieving global merchandiser’s now got 12 collections, including menswear, women’s wear, accessories, furniture, watches, purses, rugs, china, fragrance, jeans, shoes, even pens.

Why is Smith hitting Hollywood now? "I’ve had a store in New York for 14 years and have opened several shops in Japan, France and Italy. Now we’re finally ready for Hollywood."

Hollywood seems ready for the shop’s mix of wearables; books on art, music and fashion; and CDs; along with unique artwork, curios and unusual objects, many plucked from Smith’s travels and personal collections.

"There’s something for everyone here, whether you’re a teenager or a famous rock star," the handsome, gray-haired Brit explained. "Or if you’re a famous teenage rock star, of course."

Will Smith dive into the Hollywood awards fashion game? He sounds amenable, if slightly circumspect: "We’re not really a celebrity-oriented company but if celebrities would like to wear some of my things, that would be lovely."

Oh, they’ll want things. Just you wait.