British men’s wear design duo Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt this season referenced a very specific idea of high street when they were teenagers back in the early Aughts, during a time when brands like Jack Wills and Abercrombie & Fitch dominated the market. For them, the high street then represented a sense of individualism, even if in reality it was not.
An interesting element they used in this collection is the dancing-girl motif, which according to Cooke is the feminized equivalent of a bull’s head on a varsity jacket.
The look: Elevated high-street boys, who don’t look up to traditional tropes of wealth and luxury, and who aspire to build their own culture around great clothes.
Quote of note: “I thought there is a real difference to the high street today. It feels very homogenized. Not necessarily the high street, but the way people look.”
Key items: Union Jack sweater, cropped bomber jacket, sweaters with elongated ripping at the waist and the cuffs, supersized-sequin chain top, rolled up shorts and two new bag styles: a daytime bowling bag and an evening frame bag.
Takeaway: Making “relentless repetition” enjoyable is not easy, but Cooke and Burt made it work. Their reaction to the high street’s golden age felt whimsical and without irony.