Oliver Spencer ventured to the Far East for his Spring Summer 2020 collection, citing Wong Kar-Wai’s cinematic piece “In the Mood for Love” as his main inspiration, Spencer wanted to capture the vibrant atmosphere of Hong Kong’s night markets.
The designer turned to Shoreditch’s street food specialist Dinerama for the location, transforming the inner décor into that of a Hong Kong marketplace. The attention to detail was stunning and it felt like you had walked into another world when entering the venue.
The designer has continued his commitment to sustainability and reducing the brands carbon footprint with 40% of this collection being made in England and the rest in Portugal. The collection was very typical of Spencer, the designer stuck to what has made him so successful with most garments being very tailored. Light materials and tones of teal alongside tailored knee length linen shorts gave the collection a summer feeling, however, it was the colours of khaki and grey that rendered most prominent.
What many people love about Spencer’s work is the elegance in which the garments are constructed but this just wasn’t enough in this collection. Over the course of 31 looks, there was too much repetition and I felt myself losing interest with only 1 or 2 looks capturing my attention. The highlights of the show were the unique setting and the fact the designer had used several older, middle aged models for the runway, which is essentially his target market.
I longed for a risk, for something different, for something that wasn’t black, green or grey, but it never came. Spencer wanted to express the vibrancy of Hong Kong markets in this collection, he certainly didn’t do that with the designs and compensated this with the venue choice. Oliver Spencer’s work will always have a place in this industry, where others are moulding to the younger generation, he has found a more mature customer that loves his aesthetic, he stays true to that. It’s elegant and beautiful but with so many emerging talented designers pushing the boundaries of what fashion can be, it feels as though Spencer’s work falls along the wayside. Perhaps I’m looking for too much due to the fact I’m not the brand’s target market, or perhaps I’m simply finding my focus shifting to the brands and runways that are showing us what menswear can be, and having fun exploring that…
Here are the latest photos straight off the runway from Oliver Spencer SS20, at London Fashion Week Mens.
Stay tuned for Issue 6 in July for our editors full LFWM review, but until then, enjoy the imagery…