Graduating from the University of Westminster just two years ago, designer Steven Stokey-Daley can already say he's dressed Harry Styles and Raven Smith. To top it off, he's a finalist for this year's edition of the prestigious LVMH Prize. Making his standalone debut at London Fashion Week last year with a performance by actors from the National Youth Theatre - who brought to life key themes in Daley's work such at homoeroticism and the of queering British uniforms - the designer has released a documentary about the standout show.
'By taking archetypal British traditionalism and subverting it is a form of rebellion, for example cutting a smoking jacket/dressing gown as a donkey jacket would be cut, it’s taking the languages of both working class and elitist dress codes and merging the two to form something politically nuanced', is how Stokey-Daley described his work to SHOWstudio's features editor Hetty Mahlich in an interview following his graduate collection. The performance which accompanied his S/S 22 debut featured National Youth Theatre actors moving through a series of vignettes, set in the confines of boarding school from changing rooms to bedrooms, navigating their desires which were suppressed by a strictly heteronormative space.
The documentary film goes from rehearsals with the National Youth Theatre through to stylist Harry Lambert getting the actors ready before they took to the stage. Performing in the round, fashion week attendees got up close and personal with the actors, who were not long out of school themselves. Fashion critic Sarah Mower interviews Stokey-Daley in the documentary, who talks through his ideas and school days in Harrow where he first glimpsed the local boarding school boys. 'The boys were in twos, marching round with their straw hats in procession. I remember thinking that it was so different to the school world that I knew. It's the difference between the access to arts and culture that's really prevalent within the conversations that we're having,' he tells Mower. A white board with scribbled ideas reads 'Rejected bodies' and 'Normality', and Stokey-Daley later adds that their brand, S.S Daley, is about 'those parts of us that were never celebrated at school'.
Directed by - NWSPK - @nwspk_
Producer - Rhory Danniells - @rhorydanniells
Director of Photography - Sam E H Hooper - @samehhooperdop
Editor - Glen Travis - @glntrvs
Colourist - Andi H Cho - @andikdc @blackkitestudios
Sound Design - Joseph Russell - @_jr_fx
Composer - Silas Fry - @silas_fry
Production Company - Intergalactic Studios - @intergalactic.studios