It’s a big season for Stefan Cooke, having graduated from the Fashion East incubator after three stellar seasons, the London designer’s SS20 show marks his first solo spot on the LFWM calendar.
What can we expect? Having already wowed with his slightly off-kilter tactile designs and “awkward masculine glamour”, SS20 sees Cooke and his partner – in life and work – Jake Burt riff on the idea of taking on different characters for different occasions; with plenty of costume archive references in the mix.
Here, Cooke gives us an insight into what to expect.
What’s the idea behind your SS20 show?
Stefan Cooke: When we look back on the short time since we launched the brand we were amazed at how much our worlds have changed. We are now closely involved with an industry that only two years ago still seemed far away. We adapted to being part of that industry by learning to become different people for different events, meetings, environments and interactions.
We decided to explore this idea of becoming a different character, we researched theatre costume and fell in love with the clothes we found. Some pieces are intricate and very convincing and others have corners cut and exist for a more gestural purpose. But at the end of the day we asked ourselves if we would wear these clothes and if not why and how could we change them to be more appealing. We want the collection to feel real and wearable but still invoke a sense of dressing up as a character. Disguise is only useful when no one notices you are wearing one.
It’s your first solo show, how has that changed things for you?
SC: There is more pressure, you don’t want to disappoint but it also feels like there is a lot of people excited to see how we develop. There are just more things to think about.
Are there any special techniques/materials you’re excited about?
SC: For this season, there is a lot of hand tying and knotting techniques, it feels lot lighter. We also have a shoe collaboration with Marko Bakovic coming out so we are excited to see people’s reactions.
Any key influences/references?
SC: Costume archives and acting. We thought the NYU students we saw in New York a couple of months ago looked cool.
How do you want the audience to feel?