Tomorrow the London Fashion Week spotlight turns on menswear. One of the undoubted stars of the show will be Oliver Spencer. He makes a near artform out of creating a very British, very unstructured, very considered and really quite casual aesthetic, which tunes in to the sort of wearable style we heartily endorse. The fact that most fabrics come from UK mills and most of the range is made in the UK - the rest being finished in Portugal - also makes us happy. And we're not alone. The cult of Spencer now counts The Rolling Stones, Paul Weller and Doves as wearers, even if Spencer is a bit too modest to elaborate....
Who would you like to dress in Oliver Spencer ?
That's a hard one. That's a tough question. I guess anyone who wants to wear it, really. But you mean famous people right? Well, there are some good young actors at the moment who I think would look good. Dominic Cooper's one. And Eddie Redmayne, I think he'd wear it well.
Don't some pretty famous people already wear Oliver Spencer? Paul Weller for one...?
Ha ha ... yeah, I heard that he wears it. It's nice to hear.
"...it's about heritage details, we're deeply
into construction and pay lots of attention
to every aspect"
And it kind of resonates with the mood for the Spring range?
Well the theme is French mod. But actually, yeah, it's principally inspired by the Style Council [Paul Weller's band from 1983 to 1989]. When they came out they were still smart but they wore more colour and were just funkier. That look works well now - clever colour
blocking, but with looser fabrics and a sort of unstructured feel.
What do you think of the way men dress these days?
Men in general dress much better now. It's changed a lot in the last five years and they're just putting outfits together with a lot more sophistication and also a bit more adventure. So, as a designer, it's great news - it means you know there are plenty of people out there who "get" what you're doing. It also means you just can't take either quality or cut for granted anymore - not that we ever would. I guess men are just a lot more discerning now.
Do you try to influence that or respond to it?
Obviously you do consider both. But ultimately I kind of build it all around what I would want to wear.
How do you design?
I start by sourcing fantastic fabrics. That's what we consider before everything else. And at the moment I love mixing materials, blending wool and cotton and creating linen mixes so the pieces feel absolutely right. Then it's about heritage details, we're deeply into construction and pay lots of attention to every aspect.
So, looking forward to Fashion Week?
Excited, stressed and very busy. It's all good though and I'm sleeping, so that's a bonus.
What do you do in your miniscule amounts of spare time?
I have three kids so I'm a family man. And as anyone with kids will tell you, that very happily consumes most of your time. But I do get to squeeze in some sport so Monday nights are reserved for a trip to Battersea Park and football.