With a monster new Albermarle Street Paul Smith superstore in the post, and probably open by the time you read this, this charming menswear shop is an amuse bouche for the great Paul Smith feast to come. But it's as charming as you would expect from a man who has made a global empire out of his unique brand of English eccentricity and good taste with a twist.
As usual, this store is impeccably judged. Mindful of its media dude cachment area in Soho, the clothing edit cuts out tailoring completely, focusing instead of made-to-measure jeans, lovely knobbly knits and crinkly chambray shirts with a wink of Paul Smith character apparent in touches of embroidery and contrast piping. What suits there are are soft ones, in brushed cottons that you could happily lounge over an espresso counter in, or pedal to work in. Downstairs, Paul Smith friendly art work and records are showcased in a shoppable culture zone - although on our visit one buyer had already swiped the lot. Meanwhile, a wall of Paul presents an affectionate panel of envelopes addressed to the designer by his many global devotees - illustrated, glitter-glued and collaged with adoration. Somehow, the guesture doesn't come across as self-congratulatory at all - as it well might have in another store.