The Bloomsbury Set, a collection of writers, artists and intellectuals who occupied the London neighbourhood in the early decades of the 20th century, has provided ample inspiration for fashion designers across generations. From Kim Jones at Fendi to Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons – and, as of this season, British designer Oliver Spencer – the movement’s liberated, bohemian spirit and aesthetic preoccupations have proved timeless touch points.

Released for A/W 2022, Spencer’s latest collection is titled ‘The Bloomsbury Man’, which the designer says combines a vision of the archetypal ‘1920s artist and thinker’ – Duncan Grant or EM Forster, perhaps, both members of the set – with his own contemporary, relaxed vision of tailoring. 

The Bloomsbury Man: Oliver Spencer A/W 2022

Model wears Oliver Spencer A/W 2022, standing in front of paintings
‘The Bloomsbury Man’ Oliver Spencer A/W 2022

Arriving in an earthy colour palette evocative of a British autumn, alongside classic blues, greys and mustards, Spencer focuses this season on an eclectic array of textures to add richness to the collection – among them terry cord, needlecord, jumbo wale corduroy, brushed organic cotton and ecological wools. 

Spencer says the various pieces are designed to be mixed and matched with abandon, in a manner evocative of the Bloomsbury Set’s eclectic interiors – notably, Charleston House in Sussex – where a miscellany of fabrics, wallpapers and prints were used in singular spaces. ‘The collection complements the wearer’s creativity and experimentation,’ says Spencer. 

Model wears Oliver Spencer A/W 2022, standing in front of paintings
‘The Bloomsbury Man’ Oliver Spencer A/W 2022

Ready for the incoming autumn and winter months, and times spent indoors, silhouettes are loose and relaxed – unstructured wool tailoring and Donegal knits with a flecked appearance – though cut with an intrinsic elegance which allows the pieces to be worn whatever the demands of the occasion. 

New introductions for the season include the Mansfield jacket – a blazer with peaked lapels and a tab closure, finished with horizontal stitch detailing for surface interest – while the cult Solms jacket is reimagined in jumbo cord, ready to be worn with matching trousers or eclectically mixed with the other pieces in the collection (or, indeed, your own wardrobe). §