Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt are the duo behind one of London’s most talked-about menswear brands right now. Showing on Sunday evening at London Fashion Week, the brand brought in a crowd who were eagerly anticipating its fresh take on knits, tailoring and deconstruction: themes on which the brand definitely delivered.
Stefan Cooke said Autumn is for skin baring, showing a selection of cut-out ‘blazers’ that were all lapels and buttons, and not a lot else. The effect was almost as if the models were wearing ties – bridging unconventional tailoring with updated construction techniques, whilst retaining its ‘smart’ uniform aesthetic – a clever spin on expectations and perceptions of what workwear should and could be.
Elsewhere, Cooke sent a range of knitted cardigans down the runway, which were cut away to reveal skin at the bottom, but doubled up with a contrasting coloured collar at the top. These structural pieces, coming in iterations of black/red, grey/pink and navy/yellow, worked to encapsulate what Stefan Cooke is all about: reworking traditional coded menswear into something newer, more interesting, and more revealing.
As was to be expected, we also saw new offerings from Cooke’s signature diamond cut-out design motifs. One look saw a hot pink diamond-cutout cardigan layered over a similar grey crewneck, under which a bright yellow layer was revealed. Perhaps the most commercially minded offering in this look though, was a white cut-out scarf that we can see becoming a sell out Cooke staple when the line drops later this year.
Using elements of classic knitwear design on different materials also worked to advance this brief – rope twists, found on cable knit jumpers, now appeared on indigo-washed denim jackets. Cooke debuted an almost kilt-like skirt, toned down into a monochrome black, which may or may not have been attached to matching straight leg trousers below.
The show’s closing look was a departure from Cooke’s previous patterns, but infused with the same energy. It came in the form of a silver, almost chain-mail like top which was audibly clinking as it made its way down the runway. As ever, Cooke’s impressive grasp of tailoring and the body were both demonstrated here: with the garment as fitted to the model’s torso, yet still fluid and flashy in its movement. It was perhaps the clearest iteration of Stefan Cooke’s clothes as an armour – and here, he was all for kitting out a prince.
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