Exclusive LC:M Preview: Oliver Spencer SS14

Chris Chasseaud visits Oli Spencer’s studio for a closer look at his Jean-Michel Basquiat-inspired SS14 wardrobeOliver-Spencer-diptychWhen a spring and summer has been as drab as what we’ve been experiencing in 2013, it could understandably have an effect on the direction a designer might take for their collection. It could sway the angle and source of inspiration it informs, altering the direction the collection takes. However, continuing from previous themes and connected to his appreciation of art, Oliver Spencer took inspiration from the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat for his SS14 collection, showing at LC:M next week.

Rather than take direct influence from his graffiti based art, Oli decided to create a collection that would serve as a “wardrobe for Basquiat”. He liked the fact that back in the 70s and 80s, men felt free with what they wore. Their dress sense was and wore suits in a casual way. Basquiat did that effortlessly and it’s easy to see the allure in wanting to theme a collection around that.One piece reflecting the relaxed yet smart ethos is a two-toned double breasted jacket accompanied with wide legged trousers. Oli has been favouring a wider cut on trousers for a little while now, a continuation from his AW13 collection. This lends well to showing off movement and texture, which complements the SS14 range very well. Material plays an integral role in shaping the characteristics of garments, with washed fabrics being selected to enhance personality.

A new direction for Oliver Spencer has been the use of jacquard material put through an over-dying process. The results are impressive. The palette has been brought together with the aim of being light and airy – with rich warm colours selected to achieve this. Yellows, deep reds and pink are accented with electric blue. We can only guess if these colours have been chosen by Oli to satisfy and artistic desire, just like Jean-Michel Basquiat did on canvas, to ‘paint the city’ in a frenzied yet calculated way.

Photography Morgan O’Donovan