Our journey advanced and our feet almost gone, what had felt like an eternity. Reluctant, unforgiving, retreat far from belief. A journey of fortune. Fortune of discovery.
This season rock'n'rolled with Afrobeat, taking us on an immersive journey from London to Africa. The designer notably inspired by Fela Kuti and drummer Ginger Baker - notoriously emerging himself into the musical highlife of funk and jazz. Oliver Spencer definitely put the funk into AW16, with an array of relaxed tailoring and loungewear for the leisured traveller. Whilst silhouettes remained true to Spencer's signature, this season there were slightly different offerings that included; draped ponchos, suede details, and layered rust knitwear.
Inspirations translated into textures of ribbed camel roll necks and basket weaves, giving the collection a more nostalgic feel, as well as us texture envy. While the designers heart was in Africa, British styling and timeless pieces still shone through; striped suits, matching houndstooth print shirt and ties, as well as stylised striped socks and t-shirts; all reenforcing the British heritage of the brand.
A colour palette of midnight blues, blood red, ecru, forrest green and London Grey bound themselves into the designs of velvet trousers, suiting stripes, checkered patchwork and layered prints of potato stamps and houndstooth. However, in this collection there were injections of the more conceptual. Tobacco patchwork, draped layering and beautifully delicate details on the back of high waisted trousers - a sign of progression for the designer. Key staples followed with suede bomber jackets, classic footwear, mac jackets, duffle bags - perfect for any modern man.
In a chat after his show Oliver Spencer expanded on our experience of his new collection:
You took inspiration from Africa and Afrobeat this season, how did this translate into your AW16 collection?
It’s all about texture, it’s all about print, and the way an English guy would go into Africa and interpret the clothing and textures.
How would you define this season's Oliver Spencer man?
The Oliver Spencer man is quite an eclectic guy, he is a traveller big time. He has always been that way and I’m just pushing boundaries at the moment, slowly becoming more conceptual with the collections. It’s just moving things on.
What was your favourite piece from the collection?
The black coat at the end, always cool.
Why do you think the relationship between fashion and music is so important to showcase your work?
It’s just together because, musicians do, musicians flow, it’s a whole kind of movement. It’s arm and arm, it’s beautiful. Especially showcasing in London right now! London more than anywhere does both fashion and music very well.
What did you have playing in the studio whilst designing AW16?
Fela Kuti, for sure.
Words & Interview by Rosie Williams
Photographs by Aylen Torres