The day had started well. Topman Design’s typically youthful mix of Eighties sports gear, lasercut jackets, and reappropriated surf punk separates was a happy mix of commercial and challenging (Neoprene shorts, American Football tops worn as cropped T-shirts), and the influences were evident; a touch of Martine Rose here and a lot of Matthew Miller there – especially the printed suits and oversized rucksacks. You can watch the Topman Design show yourself HERE
Oliver Spencer’s stuck in an outdoor pursuits groove, and his utilitarian apparel screamed mid-Nineties, right down to the soundtrack of classic and indie rock. It was all very Cool Britannia Guy Ritchie shooting party, with patriotic splashes of blue and red. Katie and I were more interested in the front row, which wasn’t as A-list as last season’s appearance by Tinie Tempah, but did offer up a suited-and-booted Dermot O’Leary, Reggie Yates, and housewives’ favourite Ben Fogle , wearing the sort of jacket that only minor television celebrities think are hip. This effort was scarlet tartan and had a loose thread hanging down at the back which distracted me for most of the show.
On to Spencer Hart at the Old Selfridges Hotel, which is apparently undergoing renovation but the builders had obviously taken the deposit and done a runner as this place was more ‘The Money Pit’ than Third Space. Hardly the place to celebrate a decade in the business. Monitors informing us of Hart’s years clubbing on the jazz funk scene gave a hint of what was to follow, but even a friend and I were unprepared for the whooping, hollering, The Bump-ing black-clad mentals who rushed the stage and treated us to a dance routine which seemingly lasted for hours in the clammy heat of this dingy building site. The clothes? Basically Spencer Hart’s tailoring CV, endless permutations of the dark suit, and some ill-advised plays on proportion and sartorial convention. Just because you can sew a patch pocket on a double-breasted jacket doesn’t mean that you should.
A finale featuring Spencer Hart’s buddy Lawrence Dallalligio flanked by leggy lovelies and, inexplicably, cigar-puffing ‘Sherlock’ actor Benedict Cumberbatch, wasn’t the end. Oh no. Out came those hyper-energetic dancers again, by which point even front row firmament David Gandy looked as if he was praying for death. Far more interesting is Superdry’s collaboration with Timothy Everest. A few suits, a couple of tweedy jackets, and a coat, all perfectly executed and featuring the sort of bespoke details, such as a working cuff, which you don’t usually find on off-the-peg suits.
That night’s Hot Ticket was e-tailer Mr. Porter and Jimmy Choo’s party, but we only made it as far as a drinks reception in the Burlington Arcade, where we both gratefully snatched much-needed canapés (me), and the free-flowing champagne which fuels all fashion events (her). Juicy skewered king prawns were the highlight of a hectic day, but this was only the start, and tomorrow would be an early one.....