The press release introduced Oliver Spencer's offering as ‘When Rock Rolled with Afrobeat’. The collection, a showcase of ready-to-wear pieces, brilliant British styling and warm, earthy tones, revealed the designer's musical inspiration.
And it wasn’t just the hues that were warm, the atmosphere was too. At the start of the catwalk a band played on African drums, Oliver Spencer’s collection was inspired by the music of drummer Ginger Baker (Rudimental, Cream), and it gave the show a really relaxed and fun vibe.
The suede patchwork jackets were among the key pieces to lust after but the relaxed tailoring also showed off Spencer’s expert design skills and understanding of the modern man.
Velvet has a strong presence right now in womenswear and Oliver Spencer’s velvet judo pants in maroon and navy provide the perfect way for men to introduce the soft and striking fabric into their wardrobes.
Stars lined the front row. Model David Gandy who posed for selfies with fans sat next to Daisy Lowe and Jim Chapman, YouTube vlogging star and contributing editor of GQ, who partnered with Oliver Spencer for the show, introduced the collection, explaining the Vero app and GQ tie-in. Vero enables real time buying of the collection on the runway. ‘See now, buy now’ has been a big feature of this season’s London Fashion Week shows with designers becoming more innovative about the way they make their designs available to their customers.
Here, Oliver Spencer, GQ and Vero literally put the buying power straight into the hands of the customer – they could purchase the collection via a smartphone app as the clothes made their way down the catwalk.
The show was unorthodox in a number of ways – a menswear-only show to close London Fashion Week, a live band playing and an introduction from a YouTube vlogger – but when it came to the clothes classic silhouettes reigned.
70s and 60s styles were infused throughout the collection but given a thoroughly modern twist. Think less flares, more hues of orangey browns and berry maroons, suede fabric. Less flower power, more bomber jackets and loose tailoring.
Fashion is for the most part so fixated on the future and the next big trend that for a long time what's seen on the runway has been out of reach for months but Oliver Spencer made a convincing argument for ‘see now, buy now’. And that wasn't just because of the technology, this collection was so superb, it’s no wonder customers wouldn’t want to wait.
Words: Alannah Francis | Fashion Week Press | @AlannahFrancis1
Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photography