For his spring collection of sustainable clothing for men, Spencer Phipps looked to explorers — “people who have gone really far in their own sort of quests,” he said. “People who have been successful and unsuccessful. So we’re looking at clothes for survival and functionality, and a little bit the comedy of that.”
Vis-à-vis Phipps’ fall collection, which was its first, the designer, who formerly worked at Dries Van Noten, said the line was lightened up, with more color “and a bit more spirit of fun.” That included how even serious subjects like sustainability and environmentalism were broached. “If it’s a drag on people’s consciousness, it’s not really going to accomplish the goal,” he reasoned. “I think you need to keep it light, and keep it joyful.”
Cut to the T-shirts, one with a drawing by Gordon Flores of a newly discovered species of spider called, hilariously, the Sparklemuffin. More technical fabrics were used in this collection, resulting, for instance, in a fully waterproof jumpsuit. Phipps worked with ultrasuede from Japan.
A bright yellow multipocket vest was paired with matching trousers also of hemp-cotton denim. For another look, a Western-style brown pocketed shirt was worn with buzzy yellow-and-black baggy shorts.
Phipps’ own aesthetic is evolving and consolidating.