Usually, you don’t expect radical change at Oliver Spencer. It’s not what he does. This time, though, things felt a little more progressive than they sometimes do, with Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti serving as inspiration and, fittingly, thumping Afrobeat on the soundtrack. Non-tweedy patchwork jackets felt like new ground for Spencer, as did rope striped poncho-and-shirt ensembles (in which one blended into the other).
Patterned trousers, in particular, were looser and less Anglo-centric than we often see from Spencer, recalling, perhaps, traditional and vibrant Nigerian occasion-wear (fortunately, diverse casting ensured this wasn’t a case of the whitewashed postcolonial pick-and-mix of which Fashion is so frequently guilty). Generally, things were a little bit louche and a little bit gentleman-traveler – something compounded by the inclusion of leather holdalls and bare ankles exposed under cropped pants.
Spencer has always excelled most at the mix-and-match separate: that 60s catalog term to describe the lost art of smart yet casual pieces that can be worn as matching ensembles or broken up into versatile components. Here, everything from Nehru collared country suits to pajama-esque night shirts and trousers seemed designed for maximum wear and versatility. Perfect, really, for those world-tours (with the requisite beaten old travel case) you imagines that Spencer dreams of.