Gimme an ’S’ is an exploration, by London-based designer Stefan Cooke, into the mythology of contemporary British fashion, through its attitude, its silhouette; the non-irony and the aspiration.
The duo behind the brand (Central Saint Martins MA graduate and multi-award winning designer Stefan Cooke and his partner Jake Burt) present an SS22 collection which references the high street’s golden years. Instead of fleeting, the collection is enduring and anything ironic is passed up for everything real.
The designers approach high fashion and aspiration by side-stepping traditional tropes of wealth and luxury. Instead they effortlessly focus on sleek and unique adjustments to everyday silhouettes. The collection is sharp, precise and important; there is no need for ambiguity. Gimme an ’S’ is purely about the culture of wearing great clothes.
Some of Stefan Cooke’s design signatures have been reworked in new ways to elevate this collection from the last. Traditional knitwear pieces feature elongated ribbing at the waist and on the cuffs creating striking contrasts between top and bottom. Trompe l’oeil techniques are incorporated as ghostly rubbings of military-style fastenings across tailored shirts and a vest. The use of jersey also comes into focus, as a clever cable-knit appliqué.
For Stefan Cooke, sequins are not seasonal flourishes or shimmering pieces of glamour, they are instead industrial and everlasting in their supersize form as part of a top and a strap in this collection. All the outerwear is easy and assured, a feeling communicated through varsity badges of women dancing and having fun.
On the bottom, there are short-shorts and longer shorts offering a variety of colours and cuts to show off the legs. And a mixture of sartorial slacks paired with more casually fitting trousers only adding to the versatility and wearability of the entire collection.
Stefan Cooke has a reputation as a handbag brand and the designers typically work with found bags and add their own recognisable handles and straps. This season introduces two of the brand’s own original bags: a daytime bowling bag named The Twenty-Two, and an evening frame bag with grafted bugatti handles called The Fifteen.
After having to reveal their previous collection virtually amidst the pandemic last year, the designers’ presence at London Fashion Week was met with a great acceptance and respect. The presentation of Gimme an ’S’ was exciting, assured and aspirational – completely in the Stefan Cooke way.