London's knitwear mavericks celebrate seasons past with an energetic, beat-fuelled retrospective at the London museum
Bounding energetically into the Victoria and Albert museum’s iconic Raphael Gallery, a stream of buff, Amazonian male models smiled, laughed and at one point even high-fived merrily to a beat-heavy pop playlist. London-based knitwear masters Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery wouldn’t want it any other way. With a reputation for insisting models generally just enjoy themselves, the feeling of a Sibling show is one of high spirits, a perfect reflection of the label's love of being colourful, playful and rebellious at heart.
Step back in time:
As part of a series held by the V&A Museum, Fashion in Motion – initially started in 1999 showcasing Alexander McQueen's spring summer collection, more recently hosted in conjunction with Yohji Yamamoto and Meadham Kirchhoff – Sibling lifted their favourite looks from seasons past in celebration of an impressive back catalogue. This selection of archive pieces, curated and placed together in a sort of chronological symmetry, showed that a DNA of “fun, joy, positivity” has run throughout. The trio’s fascination with youth tribes was similarly prevalent, from classic East London streetwear-inspired tracksuits, snoods and chunky knitted sportswear to the West Side Story narrative seen here in knitted ‘denim’ trucker jacket and high waisted jeans. For their Fashion in Motion, Joe, Sid and Cozette selected pieces from every collection since their first ever Newgen Men-sponsored Fashion East installation in 2009. The fast-paced, booming and pop-centric music was also drawn from their previous shows. “The ones we loved the most,” asserted McCreery.
I Love It!:
“Fun and bouncy” wailed one notable fashion editor in surmise of the retrospective runway show. “That’s how we want people to feel!” asserted McCreery in post-show exalt. “We want people to have as much fun as possible, and to see the joy in something as stereotypically mundane as knitwear…fun can be more than just novelty Christmas jumpers!” Here it extended to enormous pom poms engulfing the entirety of one model and a colourful ‘knit monster’ complete with face-covering mask. As the models all rushed backstage to change, the final bars of the last song of the playlist blasted “I LOVE IT!” – Icona Pop’s hit ringing throughout the ancient building's acoustics. “That’s the Sibling message!” laughed Cozette.