S.S. Daley celebrates Harry Styles investment with euphoric Oxbridge dandy show in Florence

S.S. Daley celebrates Harry Styles investment with euphoric Oxbridge dandy show in Florence

S.S. Daley – by designer Steven Stokey-Daley – celebrated singer Harry Styles’ decision to invest in his fledgling house with a euphoric show in Florence on Thursday night.

Staged inside city hall of Florence Palazzo Vecchio, the collection blended English boarding school style, summer trysts and elegiac romanticism in the standout show of Pitti, the world’s largest menswear salon.

S.S. Daley Fall/Winter 2024 – FashionNetwork.com

Pitti takes place twice yearly, largely inside a giant medieval fortress called Fortezza da Basso, though its highlights are generally special unique shows by newly acclaimed designers. That was rarely more so the case than tonight, at a brilliant runway show by S.S. Daley. All staged underneath giant frescoes by painter Giorgio Vasari, whose history of important noble artists is the single most important written guide to Renaissance art.

In some smooth timing, the house announced this evening that Styles had become a minority shareholder of S.S. Daley. A close partnership in which Harry Styles will accompany the growth of the namesake brand founded in 2020.

Vasari surely would have enjoyed this show, unfolding inside the soaring Salone dei Cinquecento, where the English designer had installed a half-dozen wooden columns crammed full of pillows.

“So, lots of the references I was looking at where of Oxford University students in the past who shared living quarters. So, I kind of wanted to transform this into an abstracted idea of dormitory, that’s what the sculptures were all about,” explained Daley, in a dark and confused backstage.

So, he opened with a young scholar in a black frock, white waistcoat, silk scarf and no pants, as if hustled out of bed to attend an after-midnight romp. The Liverpool-born designer also played with down dressing gowns and scarfs, piped with his signature red thread. And wowed with tails worn over khaki spy trench and giant black silk loon pants.

The house Daley has moved a lot of its tailoring to Italy, and that showed in a more polished look. Best of all, he managed to blend soft-shouldered silhouettes with a precise cut. Making everything very, very fresh and kicky – helped by the contrasting buttons and cool young cast.

“When I first came to Florence, I left my ideas really open. Still, I was so impressed with the incredible tapestries that I saw everywhere, which is why there are all these hand sewn knits referencing incredible tapestries,” the sensitive designer practically whispered post-show.

S.S. Daley Fall/Winter 2024 – FashionNetwork.com

After showing a brilliant knit poncho of gentleman riding out. Suggesting a boy roused from his bed and tossing on a throw. Though it was hard to imagine many of the pampered editors and buyers in the front row actually knowing how to mount a horse properly.

Add in some great window panes check trenches, pajama stripe lounge suits and a fantastic white shirt featuring a print of a steelhead salmon.

Combining theatre and fashion, this was great show, and first-rate collection of some 30 looks. Not one of them a duff note.

Easily the one proper fashion moment in Pitti 105, and a strong candidate to be the most original collection in the European menswear catwalk season due to run until Sunday evening, January 21, in Paris.

No sign of Harry in Florence, but the singer/songwriter should be very happy with his new business endeavor after this tasteful show. Terms were not released.

“Harry and I have a shared vision for the future of S.S. Daley and we look forward to this new chapter together as we focus on brand longevity and scaling the business into a modern British heritage house,” explained the young designer.

A graduate of Westminster University’s fashion design BA, Daley’s DNA is all about reinterpreting the realm of British elitism via the institution of the British public school. In 2022, he won the prestigious LVMH Prize and shortly after was awarded the British Fashion Council Foundation Award for Best Emerging Designer.

Few designers have a brighter future today.

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