Introducing: Oliver Spencer
From dressing The Rolling Stones, to having brand ambassadors that include Idris Elba and Jude Law – saying that Oliver Spencer has made a name for himself would be an understatement.
An art school drop-out who started out selling second hand clothing at Portobello market, Spencer won Best Menswear Designer at the WGSN Global Fashion Awards last year, cementing his stratospheric rise into the menswear elite.
The Oliver Spencer brand is a huge advocate of UK manufacturing, with the man himself recently saying how he argued the importance of supporting British design and manufacture at a round table industry meeting hosted by Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace. Now 80 per cent of Oliver Spencer garments are made here in the UK.
The brand’s signature aesthetic errs between street style and refined tailoring – something that is a “conscious decision”, according to Oliver. “I always try to bridge the gap between the two dress codes. We call it ‘contemporary dressing’. It’s really the way that most men dress, in my opinion. Combining these two dress codes also allows a man to not be defined by age.”
Models chosen to wear the brand’s AW15 collection, ‘The Rough with the Smooth’, were of a range of ages, demonstrating just that. Showcased at London Collections: Menswear last week, it was relaxed tailoring at its absolute best, inspired by the work of artist and sculptor David Nash. “He uses the natural environment within his artwork, which we incorporated in the textures and shapes”. Natural colours, inspired by some Nash’s favoured materials, along with charcoals and muted greys, formed the foundation of the collection.
Soft fabrics are a key reason why this collection works so well. Juxtaposed with the clean lines and shapes, Oliver mixed in alpaca wool, recycled cashmere and fine lambswool. “It’s really important to me that clothing feel good when you’re wearing it, so touch and soft fabrics took a central role in the collection. We’ve really tried to up the ante with this collection, so the fabrics are very luxurious – the real McCoy.”
You can shop Oliver Spencer online at oliverspencer.co.uk, as well as at their Soho, Shoreditch and Bloomsbury, London, stores.