“I’d never been to New York before, and it blew my mind,” said Stefan Cooke of a recent trip to New York. “We walked 80 blocks or something in one day. When you’re there, you really get a sense of everyone being an actor inside a giant movie set.”
Much like actors, Cooke and partner Jake Burt have had to adapt a lot in the past fifteen months – having gone from students to acclaimed designers and businesspeople. This mood charged through the pair’s SS20 show. Set in a seemingly DIY theatre set, Drama Major drew inspiration from NYU students, the Big Apple’s off-Broadway scene and old costume archives. Shirting and jackets were given drama via cross-lace corsetry detailing and couture-like tulle (hand-tied and layered), while their signature sliced knits were paired with jersey separates realised with the trompe-l’oeil technique that has become something of a calling card for Stefan Cooke.
“My favourite piece is the red jacket with the tulle on it. It’s a 1920 technique that we found, where the tulle is all hand-tied. You lay it out as a pattern piece, then you slice it with the rotary cutter and then you hand-tie each one,” explained Cooke. “It’s super time-consuming but really beautiful. And also it references this way of conserving old fabrics, but makes it part of the design, too.”
GALLERYBackstage at this show
GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show