Stefan Cooke brought a breath of fresh air to London Fashion Week, setting the stage for Spring 2024 with a collection designed to elevate spirits and infuse a sense of ease into the fashion. This distinctive blend of comfort and innovative flair is a hallmark of Cooke’s genius, manifesting in clothing that is as wearable as it is captivating.
With Spring 2024, Stefan Cooke, alongside partner Jake Burt, demonstrated an incredible knack for marrying the mundane with the extraordinary. The collection was a hodgepodge of references, from athletic champions to pastel-hued picnic blankets transformed into ponchos and maxiskirts, as well as intricately twisted and draped tops. A particularly noteworthy element was the collaboration with Mulberry, resulting in handbags that were as adorned in Stefan Cooke’s creations as the models themselves.
Cooke and Burt, always reluctant to define the meaning behind their work, acknowledged the simplicity and freshness of the collection, admitting that they approached the season with a literal interpretation of summer. This approach resulted in a collection that, as designer Craig Green once described his own work, was “simple but complicated.”
The Spring 2024 collection also reflected the fashion industry’s ongoing evolution towards gender-neutral clothing. Cooke, part of a generation that has moved past the traditional gendering of clothes, showcased skirts, knitted dresses, and elongated sweaters with winner’s sashes in what was technically a menswear collection..
Central Saint Martins alumnus, Stefan Cooke, has a remarkable talent for textile development, transforming traditional craft into something far more sophisticated. His partnership with Mulberry provided an opportunity to display his signature patterns, including the negative-space argyle pattern he invented for sweaters. These designs were meticulously applied, carved, appliquéd, draped, or strung onto 27 preloved Mulberry bags sourced from the Mulberry Exchange’s circularity program. Somerset artisans then collaborated with Cooke and Burt to replicate military frogging and flattened bows in leather decoration, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces.
The creativity didn’t end there. The collection also featured button guitar straps, vintage scarves clipped on, and chunky tassels made from shredded rugby shirts. Additionally, there were peaked caps adorned with vintage feather hackles from formal military uniforms. Cooke expressed his fondness for the maximalism of the pieces, emphasizing the appeal of combining several elements to create a unique narrative.
© Photos: Stefan Cooke
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