by Charly Suggett
A comfortable and recognisable theme to much of Oliver Spencer’s collections often lie in Utilitarian workwear displaying comfort and ease.
Styled to be partially buttoned or zipped up along with unpressed thick cotton jackets and up turned collars, Oliver Spencer formed much of his inﬂuence for his collection from the sculptor Richard Serra who is widely recognised for his assembly of sheets of metal in arcs, eclipses and spirals. This is evident is the lines and cut of the clothes, such as the wilton style collar of a jacket and the striped print of another.
As intended, an experimentation with texture was extremely evident in the contrasts between varied tartans, wool blends and polyester windbreaker style fabrics. This experimentation, as ever, felt controlled yet free and encouraging towards mixing different prints together. The lighter polyester fabric brought forward in jacket and trousers and then short designs brought a lighter feel to an otherwise quite autumnal colour palette. Forest Greens sat amoungst aubergine and navy shades. They wanted the accent colours to appear in their more graphic prints such as broad ﬂorals. It was this print in a matching two piece which really excited the crowd and got them going although I enjoyed the mixing of the tartans.
The overall feel for the collection was similar to many of his previous, modern and clean yet not too regimented. It felt grown up (this may have also been Q Strings who accompanied the SS16 show, a quartet who delivered songs such as ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.)
I ask myself afterwards, is this a person I would like to hang out with? Yes, because he exudes conﬁdence is his approach to clothing and is happy to pair comfort with a more stand out piece. With the introduction of a suede Buffalo jacket, a cream coated linen Seaford Parker as well as rucksacks slung over one shoulder, he has his comfort zone of everyday, wearable pieces but he will put one foot outside of it in order to hook a new piece like the scattered spot jacket and trousers or the drawstring shorts. He will experiment with a little juxtaposition to create something new but not too attention grabbing and instagram image inducing. Why? Because why not.