Stealth Styling for Spencer Hart
Was engaged in some super sharp stealth styling on Sunday. Can’t possibly reveal a thing. Well, as devout discretion is not the fashion, I can divulge certain elements of the mission. Not a sausage about what the event whole caper was for though, deal? Wait for men’s fashion week’s in June to find out the full SP.
I was in action with Spencer Hart (click) on a cheeky men’s runway show. Founder and creative director Nick Hart has been developing a line called simply Hart over the last couple of years. It pushes the Spencer Hart ethos further into the realms of directional and deconstructed men’s style. As ever the man Hart doesn’t give a hoot about fashion trends or fads, but communicates in atmospheres, moods and brilliant menswear.
The show was a tribute to Jazz singer Eddie Jefferson (click) , the man credited with inventing the singing style Vocalese. It was also inspired by the attitude and style of Nick’s late best pal Spencer.
Nick dressed seven boys like hep Beatnik poets and later day bebop cats. The clothes were a rich summer take on suiting, including signature Hart paired down waistcoat/vests worn without shirts and even cream a summer seersucker pinstripe three piece fit for a Jive Hercule Poirot.
A reference of the Sporting Life character from Porgy&Bess was present, as was a slice or two of main line Spencer Hart thrown in for razor sharp punctuation.
We had cast seven black and mixed race models to bind the look and provide a tight attitude. My main task in pre-show prep was to deliver a worthy haul of Persol sunglasses (click) and some bowler hat action, courtesy of Lock Hatters & Co. (click), nailed via trusty contacts in Fitzrovia and St.James. These were deployed along with cigars and copies of the FT which conspired to add depth and nuance.
Our MO was to style the crew in the Hart shop on Savile Row, then head to the venue like a Rat Pack ambush. No clothes rails required for this dynamic style unit . We trouped into waiting people carriers, and the Row was momentarily transformed into a scene from Harlem’s Jazz quarter in the Sixties, as our boys bowled in loose formation and hot afternoon sun. We looked sharp, we were set and the mood was buoyant.
Despite turning up with seven immaculate models, three with second outfits, out of a no-compromise love of a certain plimsolls, we elected to re-use one pair twice in the ten exit show. This led to certain re-cycling complications. The remedy involved models number two and five turning into shoe throwing quarterbacks upon leaving the runway, slinging shoes across the back stage to me crouched like a kick placer in American football, then stuffing onto the feet of the waiting model. This ratcheted up the intensity of the proceedings no end. Getting the chaps to walk with vaguely similar paces and gaits was also tricky. Despite buckets of attitude these young ‘ens can turn quite weird when out on the catwalk. One kid had it down to a tee, so we had them all take note. After numerous attempted run-throughs and countless repetitions of the song Jeannine by Eddie Jefferson, we were a well oiled, slick- suited machine, we felt.
My pal Tendai (above) were reminded of a girl we knew called Janine, but her rep was more aspiring Bukake Queen than Royal Queen, as in the words of Jefferson's son. She's a yoga teacher in Thailand now, think turned out for the best.
The show was a lauded as resounding success, so cigars were smoked all round, (as they happened to be styling props). I just gave up the blighters unfortunately, so made do with an interview with that Hart cat about what this show was all about, (see end of video at top of post) . Watch this man's upbeat sway take further effect; Hart and soul on Savile Row.