Stefan Cooke is the namesake brand headed by himself and Jake Burt. The label first showed at London's MAN in Fall 2018, and have swiftly established themselves as championing a new breed of delicate, emotive menswear. With Cooke's advanced textile experimentation and Burt's mastery of silhouette, the duo upends the hard masculinity of classic British menswear with novel shapes and subversive fabrication. Classic hard wearing garments are stripped of their structure when their image is printed on stacked elastic bandages, creating a trompe l'oeil effect that contrasts implied hardness (of say, an image of denim jeans) and the soft, body-hugging straps. The opposite holds true, with ordinary men's shirting carrying a new, more feminine energy when printed with an image of antique dresses.
Cooke also often takes from the quotidian (crafts, objects, garments) then flips them on their head to recontextualize and recast them in a new light. The most famous example is their button chainmail, using perhaps one of the most ordinary objects to create a textile with a couture atmosphere and compelling contrast between 'boring' and visionary. There's the lozenge pieces and slashed argyle knits, taking british menswear staples and reinterpreting them with cutouts that flare and settle with movement. Through the empty space one can see what lies underneath, in a sense bridging literal and emotive openness.