‘In walked luck and you looked in time, never look back, walk tall act fine’. David Bowie. Golden Years.
I wore my Spencer Hart suit yesterday. It's utterly brilliant. I realised its time to lay some serious stuff down on Style&Error. Spencer Hart is one of my favourite tailors. I only have two proper fav's now Kilgour No.5 is no more. (Massive respect to Mr. Carlo Brandelli. I look forward to your next move brother). The other is Edward Sexton, Prince of tailors.
The Savile Row mob are all very respectable and that, but they can be boring. They lack edge and attitude. Hart has got in both in spades. Spencer Hart suits occupy a very specific slick, neat, sharp space in menswear.
Designer Nick Harts eye for razor edged work has been sharpened by an obsession with clothes from the age of 13. “I worked in a tailor in Maidenhead in my holidays. I had a total obsession with clothes from that age. I was a soul boy and a David Bowie fanatic.” His suits look modish, but also present are slices of Sinatra and the Rat Pack, the finish of the young Sean Connery, and the verve of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The lifestyle, music and cultural cross over drive Nicks creativity. All of the references seen here permeate Spencer Hart style.
(click Soul Train for interview, Golden Years for performance. Both pure style in effect. See also boys above.)
London’s club scene immersed him in the histories of Louis Jordon and Cab Callaway, and he became fascinated Jazz musicians look and stance. “That Jazz Cat larger than life attitude. The atmosphere it conjures up”.
Also the look of early sixties Coltrane, Davis and Malcolm X. “They misappropriated a middle class white look and gave it edge. I always liked that subversive element”
Hart imposes his own rubric upon men’s style. He's very strict with colour deployment and his cut. “I am a disciplinarian. I like to work with very narrow perimeters, otherwise things can become very costume drama. I was inspired by Malcolm X’s army of immaculately attired guys.” The fabric edit is as keen mustard while the lines are a sharp as a tack. British mohairs and Huddersfield worsteds in steel greys, chocolate brown, navy or black. Mainly single breasted with skinny lapels, with a night time’s accent on the pocket details and on the tiny collared shirts. Narrow ties in dark hues hit home like stiff Black Russians on the empty stomach of a crisp white shirt.
Hart deals in Cocktail suits with a hint of menace, sinister garb for metropolitan night manoeuvres, and uncompromising red carpet stances. He’s made suits for Bowie, Beckham and Kanye to name three from his illustrious roster.
"I like sending people out in my clothes, when the viewer can’t put their finger on why the person looks as sharp as they do. It’s about the details, the texture and understatement. Its slightly sinister.”
Nick Hart . Jazz cat attitude.
The shop is brilliant. Go there. It’s the best thing on Savile Row. Joe and Anthony are very smart blokes. You’re looked after in a special manner. When I’ve seen customers in the shop they converse with the team like knowing members of an exclusive club. The boys really get it, looking you in the eye with menswear nouse.
Rebirth of the cool? Down Spencer Hart’s place its like it never went away.