The last time I had the pleasure of witnessing the unveiling of a Simon Spurr collection it was fall 2011 and the British menswear designer offered up a collection that fused a casual aesthetic with the quality of traditional tailoring. Skip forwards a year to the unveiling of Spurr’s interpretation of the fall 2012 season at New York fashion week (NYFW) and the traditional tailoring and overt quality remains – it’s the overriding sense of a casual collection that has disappeared.
Instead Spurr opened the season with a semi-formal menswear look: a three piece suit complimented by a banker-toned, cutaway collared shirt, a tie and Loake shoes, took to the runway. And there was a good reason for the sudden formality: Spurr’s inspiration for the season was vastly changed. This year it was Robert Frank’s 1950s photos of the formality of the City of London that served as inspiration.
But don’t mistake that as meaning that this is a wholly traditionalist collection you might expect to find in some of Savile Row’s oldest outfitters, even if they do share commonalities. Just as you might turn to Gieves & Hawkes for the finest of Officers’ uniforms, Simon Spurr has woven an element of the British military through his collection. It’s apparent in the knits, overt in the stripes that run down some trouser legs, and done largely with a naval air, all of it resulting in outerwear you’d be more than tempted to invest in and suits that marry obvious traditionalism with fashion credentials.
Away from the military overtones you’ll find the fall 2012 collection’s fashion credentials further explored.The geometric print suits inspired by Tommy Nutter might be too loud for your taste (I loved looking at them but wouldn’t be able to wear them with swagger), but leather motorcycle pants paired with a sports coat, driving gloves and a roll neck was a vision of how many a man would be happy to see themselves. Spurr’s fall 2012 fashion option was owned by one piece, however: an grey wool and cashmere topcoat with crocodile sleeves – it was this piece that was the talk of the foyer post-show.
For those looking for indication of how Simon Spur has opted to interpret the modern man’s suit, here’s what you need to know: where other designers have opted to start exploring a three buttoned chest, Spurr has decided to ignore the style altogether. That’s not to say that the three buttoned suit won’t make a return, it’s just to say that Spurr isn’t championing. Where he has broken with norm, however, is in marrying a single-vent at the rear with a British suit cut – other designers would opt for dual rear venting.
You can see all of the Simon Spurr autumn (fall) / winter 2012 runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.
Photography by Thomas Kletecka