Imagine being at a multi-cultural folk festival, dancing around to a beautiful, live string quartet. This year, that was exactly what Oliver Spencer’s SS16 show felt like as we sat in the audience taking in the string quartet's live performance of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart", as a stream of beautifully dressed boys casually emerged on the catwalk. Previously Spencer's shows have been an explosion of culture with louder more abrasive music and a party atmosphere. In contrast, this year the designer decided to slow things down a little.
Everything was toned back, simpler and softer. Colours of milky blues, aubergine and forest green graced the catwalk, setting a dark and moody tone amongst the collection. As always, Spencer looked outside the fashion world to draw his inspiration; this time gearing towards sculptor Richard Serra. The influence was prominent amongst the details of the garments, as Spencer experiments with proportions and scale, with a focus on texture and fabrics. Checks and tartan were combined with subtle florals to create a beautifully contemporary and mature collection.
There was something strangely calming about the Oliver Spencer show this season that left us feeling enveloped in a cloud of love and warmth. The music, teamed with the beautifully soft and inviting clothes made for an impact that stayed with us for the rest of the day, as if we’d sat at the camp fire at the folk festival for a little too long.
Photography by Cleo Glover.
Words by Justine Hyde-Mobbs.