You may be familiar with the name Steven Stokey-Daley (S.S. Daley), as some of his pieces were worn by Harry Styles in his 2020 “Golden” music video. The 26-year-old British designer is currently one of menswears most exciting voices, and closed out London Fashion Week’s day one by premiering his Autumn/Winter 2022 collection.
This young working designer was born into a working class family, which often reflects a major influence into how Stokey-Daley envisions his designs. His AW/22 collection was staged to reflect the appearance of stately homes from the early-1990s, while breaking down homophobic and classism barriers that exist in today’s society.
The show’s runway was staged to look more like a home, as observers were taken into a showroom that had a bed, dining room table, and house props. The show turned more into a theatrical performance, as the models graciously danced around intimately interacting their bodies with one another and the furniture. Stokey-Daley used this vision for his show to indicate his designs are meant to be moved in, and not just worn for staged-purposed.
Stokey-Daley sees classism as a core issue that exists in society and is using his voice and designs to speak up about this. “As I worked on the collection, I started writing my own narrative. For each look, I gave it a character. It jumps from different periods and reference points, merging with my ideas of theatre and movement, to build my own modern day period drama,” says Daley.
Boris Johnson partying through the pandemic steered Stokey-Daley to think this way and wants his collection to break the rules of the staged society we are living amongst.
The working class designer took a large step forward in his AW/22 collection by changing the direction of his previous designs. 80 per cent of the new collection is entirely made up of deadstock material from the Nottingham warehouse.
The first half of the show previewed dark and formal fitting pieces that attempted to explore aggressive concepts working class individuals experienced in the early-1900s. The line included leather service waistcoats, exposed chests, silky buttoned-up shirts, curtain tassel collars and brown checked suits.
The second half of the show took a turn, as Stokey-Daley explored more lighter tones in his designs. The change of theme was inspired when he stepped outside of a stately home and walked into the garden where he found peace and experienced an escape. The pickle green pea coat with illustrations of birds was the showstopper of the collection. The coat symbolises freedom, and was inspired by a jacket worn by Princess Diana in the 1980s.
Stokey-Daley also used this new collection to shine a light on homophobia issues that have and still exist in society. “Homosexuality was incredibly suppressed at this time of stately homes. During the 1910s it was considered a sin, and men had to hide their sexuality,” Stokey-Daley told GQ. In his collection, the designer experimented with early homosexual fashion trends: wide-legged trousers, billowing blouses, and skin-tight sweater vests. “It makes me emotional that men were once, and in some places still are, punished for being gay. I really wanted this collection to mean something.”
with a designer like this in the mix. His intellectual mind sees fashion as more than clothes, and uses his designs to flirt with the idea of breaking down the realm of British elitism, while understanding real-life working class individuals. At only 26-years-old, we can only expect this designer to break limits and reach new monumental moments in his future with fashion.
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