The theatrics of a Stefan Cooke show come down to the actual clothes themselves. Designers Cooke and Jake Burt aren’t interested in obliterating their way through the modern man’s wardrobe. Instead, the twosome tweak, twist and elevate classic men’s staples with deft design ability and off-kilter techniques, pulling inspiration from private school uniforms, ’00s high street icons and couture shapes and silhouettes.
With travel restrictions still in place as they worked on their AW22 collection, the pair mined theatre costume archives for inspiration. “Why the costume archives are so good is because they take you to places that you can’t go physically,” said Burt backstage. “It’s funny because we don’t go to the theatre really, but the costume archives that we go to, there’s every century, every country, all in one place.”
Pulled in, tight and sexy, the Stefan Cooke boy this season came clad in shrunken cardies, alongside drainpipe jeans and suit trousers worn with frothy cummerbunds. The brand’s hit slashed knits now appeared in hot pink and egg yolk yellow, paired nicely with skeletal polo shirt collars that were inspired by a 1960s swimming accessory.
Since their debut, trompe l’oeil techniques have been part of Stefan Cooke’s brand vocabulary. In the context of dressing for the stage, the pair applied a cording technique to denim twinsets that are raring to be swiped from the shop floor. Because at the base of Stefan Cooke’s unusual, unexpected combinations are simply great clothes.
Photography courtesy of Stefan Cooke.