Lit up by a projection of deep-sea waves, S.S. Daley’s FW23 show titled ‘The Ninth Wave’ was a sailor’s dream. Having recently heard stories from his own great-grandfather’s adventures at sea, Steven Stoke-Daley took this opportunity to create his own narrative of queer sailors. The collection itself featured knitwear throughout and had a strong approach to tailoring, showing off several suits. From Ian McKellen’s poem recital to the nautical theme that flooded the clothes, here is everything you need to know about S.S. Daley’s FW23 collection.
IAN MCKELLEN OPENED THE SHOWI
n a surprise move, Daley enlisted the legendary Ian McKellen to open up the FW23 show with a poem. The Lord Of The Rings actor took to the sea-project runway to perform Alfred Tennyson’s “The Coming of Arthur”, a tale that chronicles King Arthur’s medieval romantic trials and power-driven tribulations. Just like Arthur in Tennyson’s tales, Steven Stoke Daley chartered new territories and explored different aspects of his being through this collection.
KATE BUSH WAS DALEY’S INSPIRATION
Being inspired by “The Coming of Arthur” herself, Bush’s “The Ninth Wave” was what started it all for Daley. “Listening to The Ninth Wave by Kate Bush, I found the whole universe in it. I do see clothes as music, and this feeling for the collection overtook me in a way that I couldn’t ignore”, states the designer. Through the water-themed song, Daley has managed to find himself at sea.
S.S. DALEY GOES SAILING
The nautical theme was explored expansively here, as we saw sailor-themed hats, a reworked version of the sailor-striped top in the form of a knitted sweater, as well as a range of water resistant anoraks for the stormy days at sea. Elsewhere, a crewneck sweater that read “wave after wave, each mightier than the last, till last, a ninth one” was seen paired with a lemon-printed striped shirt and shorts, as well as crochet knots scattered on different pieces reminiscent of fishing knots.
DARK BLUE WAS THE COLOUR
In line with the sea, blue was obviously the dominant colour this season. We saw a navy blue suit matched with a sky-blue silk shirt, a sheer blue dress with a layer of ruffled sequined at the bottom was layered on top of a white button-up shirt dress, a pair of navy short shorts, a sailor scarf adorned by McKellen, and many more.
QUEER CULTURE TAKES THE HELM
Homoerotica was part of the on-board crew this season, with naked orange and red-toned male figures seen subtly on a navy necktie and more obviously blown up on a flowy navy dress. Not only is this a way for Daley to express his identity, it is also a way in which the designer uncovers queer culture from sea stories, as the two have long been intertwined.
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