Visitors to Oliver Spencer’s West Village boutique may have noticed some construction of late. The Brit isn’t making any sweeping changes to the Victorian decor, but there’s going to be a minor facelift to the 810-square-foot store: Spencer is adding a second dressing room. And it’s going to be one for the ladies.
That’s a big change for the London-based designer who, for the past 18 years, has been entrenched in the men’s wear market. He launched a bespoke tailoring label called Favourbrook back in 1990 and followed that with a sportswear line, Oliver Spencer, in 2002. It’s the latter that’s getting the women’s wear expansion this year. After starting with a small capsule collection for this fall, the designer is taking the full plunge into the market with a 30-look lineup for spring 2009. “I already have the cutting rooms and the ability to make the clothing,” he notes, “so it was quite easy for me.”
The new collection hews close to Spencer’s design roots. There’s a tomboyish vibe throughout, from the smartly cut blazers to sporty jumpers and zip-ups. “This is going to go in its own direction,” he says, “but not down a completely different route. They will be running parallel paths, for sure. I wanted to see women in clothing that had a utilitarian feel to it and still maintained a sexiness.”
Tailoring, of course, is key, but it’s served up in a relaxed and casual manner. The plaid shirtings, for example, are soft and slightly rumpled. Spencer adds that there are more washes in the women’s line — they’re done “not to age the garments” but “to loosen them up.” Also key here: The spring inspiration cues in Cornwall and the British seaside, which add to the lineup’s breezy, easygoing attitude. “I spent all my childhood summers in Cornwall, learning to sail,” he explains.
This, however, isn’t exactly the designer’s first stab at women’s wear. In 1997, he spun off a female counterpoint to Favourbrook, dubbed Violet. The short-lived label — it only lasted two years — was “very glam and theatrical,” recalls Spencer. “Lots of sequin work.” It had all the flourish and femininity that the Oliver Spencer women’s line, which wholesales from $95 to $288, very pointedly lacks. Then again, Favourbrook is “a lot more dandy,” he says. Think velvets — “lots of it” — and embroidered lilac waistcoats.
The designer’s Oliver Spencer stores currently sell a whole slew of men’s wear lines, including Engineered Garments and Nice Collective, in addition to his own. He has no plans to do the same for women’s. In fact, once the spring collections hit the store next February, he’s pulling out all other brands across the board, save those in the accessories department. The aim? Clueing in his customers to a singular laid-back urban vision. Even the label’s mascot will remain the same for both the men’s and women’s offerings. Perhaps tellingly, it’s a stag beetle.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye