REPORT BY JULIA ROBSON
“London’s good at being perky and jolly,” said Brit super-stylist Katie Grand, grinning her gappy-toothed smile, post-show at Sister by Sibling staged at the ICA yesterday.
And as Cara Delevingne skipped away to her next show – having ensured her umpteenth cover shot, dressed in giant, hand-knitted Tam o’ Shanter, teamed with a crocheted corsage-festooned top and black knickers – she was smiling, too.
After their knit fest moved into must-see territory last year, the brand’s designers, Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery, have captured the essence of fun doing what they do best: inspirational, directional and slightly anarchic knitwear.
Picking up on the trend of showing in an art gallery (where a wrong turn saw you coming face to face with Juergen Teller’s full-frontal image of Vivienne Westwood – a genuine redhead), along with a sense of irony that part-defines the London aesthetic (the exaggerated loopy scarves and knitted jackets reminded us of provincial B&B bedspreads), the show underlined a knitwear renaissance that lingered into later shows with Clements Ribeiro and Julien Macdonald.
From Sister by Sibling signatures like red leopard jacquard mini tube dresses and chintz, spot and rose (all together) jacquard twinsets, to a spray-painted Marie Antoinette Lurex sweater inspired by artist Chad Wys, you could tell models were enjoying themselves stomping down the basement runway.
The collection took inspiration from the late Eighties TV presenter Paula Yates. “She was ladylike and flirty, but never dressed in a slutty way,” said McCreery. “She was a punk English rose.”
“We’re all knitwear obsessed,” said RCA-trained Bryan who, pre-Sibling, created knits for Alexander McQueen. “It initially grew out of watching menswear, which was grey and so boring. We got together and said, ‘Let’s do something fun and colourful.’” They did. Hurrah!