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LFW Interview: Oliver Spencer

Oliver Spencer is every bit the luxury artisan as he is progressive curator. Admirable for his ability to resolutely bridge the gap between slick streetwear and tame tailoring, whole-hearted craftsmanship values offer the only formula by which he comes up with his collections.

A mish-mash of 70s art-house and 50s Beats meditate synonymously through each and every piece of the Englishman’s autumnal set. Commercial wearability is the designer’s utmost intention but he refuses to let this compromise meticulous attention to detail; a characteristic Mr. Spencer has famously earnt himself.

A melange of Lucian Freud connotations saw rugged suiting sit snug alongside layered knits in all manner of muted tones. Reds and roll necks accessorised the utilitarian aspect – khaki tops and bottoms, maintaining the functional feel. Brogue toes were capped and colour blocking rendered in plums and terracottas. Varsity bombers provided the casual quotient with a red tartan number, in particular providing a poignant talking point. The finer details were as apparent in the clothes themselves as in the grooming and production choices; aesthetically older models (note the greying head hair and the impressive facial hair) braved the runway as boisterously as the clothes and it got us to thinking.. who is the Oliver Spencer man? The answer obviously carries no age limit – a valiant decision we can only praise him for.

Venturing backstage is never and easy feat, rival journos and paps are all up in the designer’s face. Amongst the entourage of PAs and PRs, of course, prizing their attention for a precious few minutes is harder than it sounds. Hurried they may be, we did manage to sneak some words from Oli before he shot off to enjoy his celebrations.

Planet Notion: Congratulations on another admirable collection, how d’you feel the show went?

Oliver Spencer: I feel it went as er.. as smoothly as it could go. Showing in this big venue is a bit scary. I had to get a lot of people in and we got a lot of people on board to help so that was cool. The colour and lighting were good, so yeah I feel good about it.

PN: The grooming was an interesting choice, namely the facial fuzz, was that your personal, styling decision?

OS: Yeah yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah we do all of this, y’know eclectic type of guy, interesting type of guy. The overall look, from head to toe is really important to us.

PN: It was the perfect accompaniment to the predominately English Heritage inspired set we’ve just seen. Was that the intended premise?

OS: Yeah, kind of, recognisably British but with a softer take on the tailoring i.e. easy-to-wear suits.

Words – Helen Turnbull
Photos – Kevin Chesnais

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