On The Waterfront
Where else would Oliver Spencer look for inspiration when designing a spring/summer collection but to his favourite sea-view Italian home? A home which looks out on the inconstant waters from the security and stylish longevity of its polished modernist architecture: a fitting metaphor for the label itself. Where other brands entrench themselves, for better or for worse, in the now – in the moment of today rather than the posterity of tomorrow – Spencer cuts a more timeless path; one where the same cuts and the same collarless shirts peek out season after season. Don’t let that detract from what’s going on here though. Clothes don’t need to change the world to be simply elegant and appealing.
Salt and Pepper
This time around, elegant meant navy brocade cut into casual, lapel-less suits paired with white slip ons and breezy ankles. It meant a muted colour palette of olive, plum and deep red – sometimes in a stripe, sometimes in a modest pattern. A particular highlight was an indigo chambray, collarless smock with two patch pockets near the hem: a piece of workwear from the Japanese school of design led by the likes of Blue Blue Japan and Beams Plus. That is, inky and always intelligent.
The nerd in me couldn’t help but recall the titular villain of Bond’s debut outing, Dr No, when I saw some of the beautiful stand collar suits on show. They had a louche, unfussy appeal that’s perfect, I imagine, for loafing around on a private island. Or, indeed for LCM’s tropical temperatures. In the end, Spencer makes things that a certain kind of man will want to wear again and again. The kind of men, in fact, who seem to people the benches of his show: bearded, handsomely grey and reliably stylish year in, year out.