Flirting with class ideologies, Daley, a working class boy from Liverpool, reinterprets the realm of British elitism via the institution of the British public school. "I think it's interesting, you know.. looking at codes, which historically belong to Harrow School for example, and figuring out their equivalents of the school culture I'm more familiar with."
Stokey-Daley quickly became enraptured with the world of regatta races, flowery traditionalism and decadent English aristocracy. "I came across images of a regatta and I had never seen anything like it before… There is something inherently feminine about that hyper-masculine culture.” Amongst a range of referential films, theatrical practitioners and 18th century portraiture, Daley remains influenced by British cult classics: Maurice, Another Country and Brideshead Revisited. Daley questions the structural nature of British heritage and systematic elitism through the lens of 'homosocial' theory.
Having already worked in the menswear design teams of both Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford, Daley had a range of experience that well prepared him for crafting a collection and brand identity of his own. Garnering the attention of senior Vogue journalist Sarah Mower in February, Steven S. Daley appeared in a Vogue article about the use of donated archival McQueen fabric in his collection 'The Inalienable Right' that debuted at London Fashion Week days later. Since then Daley has continued to work in an ecologically mindful manner, by using donated, dead-stock and end of roll fabrics.
In March, Daley was faced with a huge demand for his tailored wide leg trousers after Barcelona-based consultant and stylist Louis Rubi posted a selfie wearing them to his mass of Instagram followers. Since then Daley has looked to Rubi as a mentor of sorts, receiving advice and encouragement that has helped Daley to build the foundations of his own small business.
Post graduation amidst a global pandemic, Daley has no plans of slowing down. He continues to explore the theatricality of British elitism, which his romantic, quality-first, bespoke garments evoke.
- L MEREDITH