seven inspirations for the sibling monster as they take over the V&A's Fashion In Motion
The London-based trio behind i-D's favourite knitwear brand, Cozette McCreery, Joe Bates and Sid Bryan, have chosen key pieces from their menswear collections to include in the show on 21st November.
The London-based trio behind i-D's favourite knitwear brand, Cozette McCreery, Joe Bates and Sid Bryan, have chosen key pieces from their menswear collections to include in the show (admission free!) on 21st November. With references ranging from East London to West Side Story, Richard Hell to Frankenstein and a bit of Scare Isle in between too, SIBLING's creations are always an enchanting explosion of humour, colour and craftsmanship. As booking opens today, and in aim of becoming as cool as they, we asked Cozette what SIBLING's top inspirations are...
"We always have the radio on at the SIBLING studio and myself and Joe often DJ. It's an eclectic mix of American New Wave, K-Pop, hip hop, 80s chart hits and grunge, often deviating into disco, Goth and whatever is playing on Absolute or Heat if we've given up with the iPod shuffle. Because it's always been such a huge part of all three of our lives there is always a link to a song, band or musician somewhere in the collections. Richard Hell and the Please Kill Me sweater from autumn/winter 12 is one example."
"Either old photos of family and friends or from social photographic reportage books, never really from magazine editorial. We have a real fondness for real life imagery. A collection often starts with Joe showing me just one image - usually when we are in the Paris showroom having just shown our latest collection, as it's when we feel most animated and positive about our work. The three of us then chat about it and this can sometimes spiral somewhere else. Joe gets his ideas down in sketch form and re-edits that once Sid makes ideas real in knit swatch form. All this from just one picture. These often become our invitation graphic too: Derek Ridgers for spring/summer 15 and John Bulmer for autumn/winter 13."
"We live walking distance from each other and the studio. We've been living in Shoreditch for - wow - over 10 years now. Often I'll get coffees and knock for Sid, Joe and their dog so we can all walk in together. It's a chance for us to chat and a nice reminder that even with everything going on with SIBLING, we are in fact three very good friends. Walking from Hackney Road to Whitechapel means we cross paths with school kids, club kids still out from the night before, groups of young men heading to the mosque, mums, dads, friends and yes the occasional hipster. The silhouette for spring/summer 13 - our first catwalk show for the first ever LC:M was heavily influenced by the youth of Brick Lane."
"Well it wouldn't be SIBLING without an element of fun now would it? Giant Pom Pom heads or whole Pom Pom garments are there because they make us happy. We aren't after lolz or fnar fnar puns with our knits we just want to raise a smile. Or eyebrows! Hopefully that carries over to the person wearing the garment, giving them a positive lift and maybe one that feels a tad rebellious."
"SIBLING is big on colour. Stores and customers don't come to us for plain black, navy or grey. Unless those tones have been SIBLING-ed either with pattern, texture and yarn mixes."
"The other day someone tweeted to the SIBLING account that in their opinion women wear leopard patterns better than men. We would whole-heartedly disagree with that. Men look fabulous in leopards. Am sure that there must have been one caveman in a cat skin and you can't fault the rocker-punk-rebelliousness of the graphic, which is why everyone from Johnny Thunders to Lux Interior via Rod Stewart, Kanye and even Harry Styles wear it."
"People often think that our Knit Monsters and balaclavas come from Leigh Bowery and London club culture. Although yes, Leigh was a friend, so perhaps subconsciously this is the case, but our monsters originally came about because we wanted to have a full knitted look beyond the twinsets we were becoming known for. It really was as simple as that. Ritual dance costumes from West Africa (photographed by Phyllis Galembo) and the humorous yet frightening garments worn at Kanaval in Haiti (photographed by Leah Gordon) were starting points. Very rapidly this is what we became known for. It became such a trend that we had to shelve the idea for a few seasons as frankly we bored ourselves with it. Then for spring/summer 15 we brought them back, self-referencing the Pom Pom heads of spring/summer 13, this time as full looks. It was also us taking back ownership of our ideas. In fact we've just made a brand new Knit Monster, working with artist Jim Lambie for the Studio Voltaire project launching on November 11th."
Text Felicity Kinsella