Show Report

Show Report: Sibling A/W 12 Womenswear

by Alexander Fury on 18 February 2012

Alexander Fury reports on the Sibling A/W 12 womenswear show.

Alexander Fury reports on the Sibling A/W 12 womenswear show.

Lurex, leopard, Leigh Bowery. There's a neat summary for the first on-schedule presentation of Sister by Sibling, a trio of natty knitters whose trademark multicoloured sweaters do a roaring trade in Japan and with the rather more - ahem - flamboyant echelons of European fashionistas. In fact, that sounds denigrating - Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery have a collective decade of experience, whipping up sleek cardigans and crewnecks with the likes of Bella Freud alongside extravagant showpieces for Giles Deacon (remember those wooly scarves knitted on broomsticks? These were the hands behind). That also explains the presence of Katie Grand, who added her eye to the mix to pull this presentation from one-to-watch into a definite must-see.

And seeing is believing: the collection was dedicated to 'Diamond Lil', a bar-matriarch in the Bet Lynch mould rather than the naughty nineties Mae West character. That explains the leopard then, although that intricate animal intarsia has fast become a signature of Sibling's menswear. This time, it sprouted everything from Scottish Fairisle borders to three-dimensional sequinned nosegays, fleeted with lurex for good measure. It's uncertain where the crystal-encrusted knitted gimp-masks came from (the 'diamond' in Lil, perhaps?) enveloped face and sprouting pom-pom mohicans or mouse-ears. And when it looks this great no-one minds about the origins of the all-electric palette of HazMat orange, blue, and a pink that can only be accurately described as 'shocking'.

In mohair that spectrum was enough, but whipped into that lurex leopard it was the aesthetic equivalent of a swift defibrillation, and just as energising. For the uninitiated, it almost pushed taste levels too far. The expertise in the technique and the obvious expense of the yarns, however, kept everything the right side of Dalston's dodgiest dives - even allowing Bates, Bryant and McCreery to indulge the odd 'odd' whim and raise a giggle rather than a hackle. A tangerine dream of a fox stole with cable-knit head and feet attached? Ended up more luxury than Leigh Bowery. And that's a compliment.


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