Tough Love – Oliver Spencer AW17

Inspired by pared-back modern day menswear, this autumn winter season we have created a collection with a ‘Velvethead’ twist. Referencing the cultural roots of music and fashion that run through the brand we also delved into the harsh yet beautiful architecture of the Brutalist movement for inspiration.

The 'Velvethead' element is a riff on the late 60's/70's subculture, 'Suedeheads' - A product of their predecessors The Skinheads, Suedeheads wanted to dress smarter, look less thuggish but retain a no nonsense attitude. They were a hybrid of subcultures that had gone before them, with modernism at their roots and sharp clothing on their backs, tough yet loving.



To explore this is idea of Tough Love, we took to one of London's most iconic (and in some opinions unloved) landmarks, The Barbican.

Designed by Le Corbusier’s devotees Chamberlain, Powell and Bon, The Barbican is an urban utopia in the heart of the City of London. A fine example of Brutalism, a term coined by British architectural critic Reyner Banham, The Barbican evokes a mixture of emotions upon first sight. Three raw concrete towers emerge from the estate, grazing the often grey sky of the capital. Subtle pops of colour appear around the lake terrace, deep blues and olive greens dapple spots of pastel hues.

Smooth interior curves contrast the coarse balconies that jut out like a serrated street in the sky. As you roam through its maze of columns and walk ways, There's a sense of sanctuary and protection, again, a kind of tough love.



This is echoed in the tougher colour palette of the collection. Autumnal, burnt orange and forest greens are enhanced with contrasting tones of powder blue, blush pink and grey. Blackwatch Plaid and wide horizontal zig-zag stripes play a role, softened by deconstructed and washed fabrics including soft velvet, corduroy and wool with contrasting leather.

Oliver’s signature cropped trousers are seen throughout, alongside new long-line jackets, roll neck jumpers and stacked sole plimsolls. Oversized parka coats are introduced to the collection with a versatile ergonomic design, transforming from coat to rucksack for the wearer.




To explore the Autumn Winter 17 collection in more detail, click here.


From our earliest days, we’ve adopted a business model that incorporates environmental and social responsibility at every step. Each season, we increase the proportion of ecological, organic and recycled fabrics and will continue to do so until they represent the entirety of our collections. We also ring-fence a proportion of our revenue to put towards planting trees with the Woodland Trust.


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