Lou Stoppard reports on the Sibling show
They promised us ‘Fuck Off knitting'. If that was a reference to sheer size then they delivered. Giant scarfs came layered over cartoon jumpers, teamed with Mickey Mouse mittens and weighty, pudding basin hats.
The Sibling gang has a thing for anarchy. Last season they offered up Revolution, for Autumn/Winter they're exploring punk. They promised us ‘Fuck Off knitting'. If that was a reference to sheer size then they delivered. Giant scarfs came layered over cartoon jumpers, teamed with Mickey Mouse mittens and weighty, pudding basin hats. While the intention may have been something hard-core, the final effect veered towards swaddled baby thanks to a sickly colour palette of baby blue and Battenberg pink and yellow. Not that the trio will mind – they pride themselves on witty, so-bad-it’s-good knitwear, hence the penchant for clashing kitsch motifs like leopard print and polka-dot together on one jumper – they call it the ‘perverse Fair Isle’.
Musicians Richard Hell and transsexual Jayne/Wayne Country were the given inspirations. One particularly fun jumper featured a motif of Paula Yates’ swallow tattoo, Hell’s own design. As usual, the excitement came in the tension between hard and soft, with the punk symbolism offsetting the cosy comfort of the yarn.
Sibling is certainly having a moment, but the trio would be wise to think carefully about how to take their work forward. Currently they’re concentrating on providing short, sharp, heady fun (the show lasted less than five minutes). And while the jumpers were certainly jolly, and the knits were certainly natty, one worried that their focus had become a little narrow. It felt slightly like the collection had been built only with a particular type of friendly London editor or stylist in mind.
That said, it's telling that the trio focused on New York, rather than London, punk. They clearly have their eyes set on world domination. But given they’ve already got Katie Grand on styling and Jo-Ann Furniss penning the press release, you can't blame them for thinking big.