Season after season, former Central Saint Martins students Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt are one of the most anticipated designers to present at London Fashion Week. Their eponymous brand – Stefan Cooke – grew at Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion Week and was quickly hailed as a brand to watch, especially after becoming a finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2019. Since then, the collections have become more nuanced and highly revered by glitterati fashion week, celebrating Stefan Cooke for his school themes and reflection of traditional menswear. Ahead of his London Fashion Week show, Hypebeast spoke to the duo, who at the time were eager for the debut of Raf Simons’ now stripped down: “We’re definitely feeling positive about the LFW lineup in September, especially Raf Simons after his collections are. mostly menswear too. With strong designers adding weight to the line for LFW, it will reposition London as the home of the avant-garde.”
However, it seems Simons is not needed, as Stefan Cooke is, in fact, the “strong designer” he spoke of. For SS23, the boys kicked things off with high-frequency pitches playing in a ring, welcoming spectators to the Old Selfridges Hotel – a space often reserved for both regulars and must-sees at Fashion Week in London, of which Stefan Cooke qualifies for each.
As the models pulled onto the track, the transport service information from the South Western Railway played loudly; aurally stimulating and enough to make some participants laugh. However, the outfit was no laughing matter. Stefan Cooke has always had a masterful eye for bending the rules, then rewriting them. Jorts appeared in various designs, including green washes, denim skirts were floor-length and had 360 degrees of jean hems running vertically from the waist to the legs.
Familiar cues such as fringes were applied to boiled wool cardigans, sequins added sparkle to a range of kitsch tops (including one with a Jack-o-lantern on it) and toaster hats from seasons past now adorned jackets close.
Completing the above was a Canadian tuxedo number, reversed with the aforementioned skirts and served in alternative hues including purple. However, the boys seemed to have turned their attention to their brand’s consumer-centric attributes, which are accessories. The bags featured the signature diamond color for sweaters from previous seasons, a theme that was also repeated on a white bomber jacket that featured the slanted diamond shade. Completing this season’s ensemble were shoes that lived up to Stefan Cooke’s billing.
Take a look at the SS23 collection by Stefan Cooke above and find more London Fashion Week SS23 content across Hypebeast and on our new Instagram channel, @HypebeastUK.
For must-see menswear, check out Simone Rocha’s assault on the scene for SS23.