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Backstage Interview with Oliver Spencer
September 26, 2016
Closing out London Fashion Week came the Oliver Spencer runway show in collaboration with GQ and social platform Vero. The highly anticipated show was a personal edit from the Oliver Spencer show from last London Fashion Week Men’s. This allowed for a seasonal edit, some new updates and the immersive experience allowing you to buy each look immediately after it walked down the catwalk.
Knitted tank tops paired with velvet overcoats, striped scarves and rusty corduroys were sent down the runway in a warm palette of navy, ochre and bordeaux, all available to buy instantly through an app.
With a live band, an innovative digital element and relaxed tailoring (in super luxe fabrics), it was exactly what we’ve come to expect from seasoned veteran, Oliver Spencer.
We caught up with Oliver backstage directly following the show and between celebrity sightings (hello, David Gandy) and compliments on this editor’s outfit (apparently pink is on Oliver’s mood board for next season), we managed to ask the man behind his namesake label a few questions before jetting off to his after-party at Liberty.
Today we saw louche relaxed trousers, mao collar jackets and the Oliver Spencer staple: granddad shirt, this time with the added layer of a journey to Africa via London. Where do you find inspiration?
The show was all about Ginger Baker (founder of Cream and drummer for Blind Faith). He was a big inspiration, [specifically] his trip from London to Nigeria, to drum with Fela Kuti. Sort of Savile Row meets Africa. It was all about print and the colour palette of Africa.
So this was a restaging of your AW16 LCM show. What’s different?
It’s 50% tweaks. Some big tweaks. Lots of velvet!
You’re amongst a select few of labels showing menswear this week, the only designer showing only menswear and you’re closing out the week. Would you say there’s added pressure?
Yeah! Hell yeah! And I’ll tell you Caroline [CEO of the British Fashion Council] came backstage right after the show and she was delighted. She said I was the only person she’d have doing this. We deliver a good show, so that’s very nice!
Is this your first time working with GQ?
No we’ve worked together on many things but this is the first time doing something like this.
The tote will be available immediately as well as the majority of the collection via GQ. How do you see buy now changing the way your present collections in the future?
We’re already into four seasons, which I’m totally enjoying. I think we’ll go further on from there. Buy now is just the way forward. It’s the way everything is going to be in the future. I’m not sure everyone is going to be able to do it, and I’m not sure it’s applicable to everybody, but I think if your business is in the position to do this it’s a really great thing.
Lastly, how do you like to unwind after fashion week?
I like to walk out of here and go for a pint with my friend William Gilcrest…and then I’m throwing a big party at Liberty tonight!
Words by Tyler Kenny
Photographs by Jenny Lafer