Oliver Spencer took to the runway on the first day of LFWM, with a collection full of Spencer signatures and a few surprise twists.
Known for always having an inclusive and varied cast of men, this season Oliver Spencer took it a step further with the addition of women, all dressed in full menswear looks with high-heels. Being his first foray into a ‘borrowed-from-the-boys' moment, it's important to note that these were three very special models who graced the runway; Daisy Lowe, Jade Parfitt and Catherine Hayward (Fashion Director of Esquire UK).
Backstage at LFWM, I asked Oliver if he got a lot of women coming into his shops?
“Absolutely, I get a lot of women coming into my shop and that's why it was time to give them a shout out! That's why I asked the three ladies to stay out [on the catwalk]. They're buying men's clothing, I'm not doing women's clothing.”
For autumn/winter 2018, men and women alike will receive a welcome dose of fashion dopamine, with the Love is the Drug collection. In our current post-referendum/ Trump state, a lightening of the mood is just what the doctor ordered, and Oliver had both on his moodboard when designing AW18.
Drawing a parallel to the 70s, (the titular song's debut) and harder times, there was a real sense of play and after-dark in the styling. Necklaces were worn over rollnecks and knits, sleeves came rakishly cuffed to reveal personal jewellery and sailor caps in Oxford Blue and chocolate corduroy were worn with aplomb. Fusing tradition with newness, Oliver Spencer references ‘Ground colours' as the building blocks of his collection which traversed landscapes both urbane and urban.
The colour palette had all the hallmarks of commercial success punctuated by navy, oatmeal and burgundy. Injecting some much-needed pops of colour into the grey winter days ahead were vibrant hues of cerulean and mustard. Elsewhere, Oliver Spencer's signature double-breasted suiting and drawstring trousers in heavy cloth came updated in ‘winter white'.
Those looking to get in on this trend will not have long to wait as Oliver Spencer has once again partnered with mobile shopping app, Vero, allowing pieces to be shopped in real-time directly from the runway. Oliver Spencer was the first menswear show to offer ‘see-now-buy-now collections four seasons ago and has consistently lead the charge with Vero, showing no signs of slowing down. This season, a runway exclusive (the Bailey Bomber jacket) will be available for purchase only through the app.
No stranger to exclusives, Oliver Spencer responded to the Grenfell crisis mid-last year by offering a Grenfell t-shirt with all the profits going to those affected. Backstage after his AW18 presentation, we touched on the importance of philanthropy. “Giving back is so, so important. That's my community, all my shops are in communities. We are not on the high street”, said Spencer.
Another cause, Oliver Spencer is deeply invested in is Made in the UK, favouring traditional British mills for heavy fabrics for his AW18 collection, cementing the importance of the show's Love Is The Drug moniker. It was a fitting tribute to the United Kingdom's constant evolution.
Catwalk images supplied by Surgery Group.
See street style imagery from London Fashion Week Men's by Wayne Noir here.
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