One third of the knit trio, Joe Bates, speaks about the renaissance of the male peacock and the importance of choice
SIBLING's collection for Spring/Summer 13 is titled Revolution and focuses on the turbulence that is motivated towards change, in a language of contemporary sportswear, white and gold, with giant sequins, delicate knit details, a lot of lurex, millinery by Noel Stewart and couture embroidery by Hawthorne & Heaney. A knit trio comprised of Sid Bryan, Cozette McCreery and Joe Bates, the latter designer spoke to Dazed Digital about the renaissance of the male peacock, fun and the importance of giving men choice...
"One thing that I think is brilliant at the moment is that the return of the male peacock, men are being more celebratory with the way they present themselves. For a few years there was a real effort to make it look like you’d made no effort whatsoever, and I found that quite offensive, that sort of ridding yourself of any sign of pampering, as if you were ridding yourself of lice. And going to such extreme lengths to look like you made no effort, I just thought was really tedious, and a real facade, not at all positive.
I adore the fact that men are having great haircuts now and keeping their facial hair trimmed, a move away from redneck styling. Middle-class boys wearing redneck styling to me is deeply offensive, but once it started to be trimmed, in an elegant way, it started to be fantastic, and it goes from people who are around Shoreditch who have handlebar moustaches, young and cool, to guys like Patrick Grant who has a beautiful trimmed beard and looks very Savile Row.
The looks that are going around at the moment are fantastic, and again the fact that tailoring is coming back is always good. It’s not for everyone, but when it disappears completely it is a shame because a man will always look elegant in a suit, and young men look fantastic in suits because they’ve got the physique for it.
I’m really pleased about the silhouettes around now, which are much more male than that adult baby cargo trouser and XXL t-shirt look. Not necessarily masculine, because some of the looks going round are relatively feminine. Which is why I say 'male'.
The very thing, the very argument that started SIBLING off was a lack of choice. The day SIBLING was born, the three of us [Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery] were on holiday around a group of friends when the men's shows were coming out. We were looking at them on a computer and they were so dry, so, so dry. Not crap designers of course, you’re talking about brilliant designers, brilliant houses with the best people in them, but it was so patronising that all that was being offered was grey or navy or white or black. I was just rolling my eyes and felt like we had to do something, we couldn't just sit and moan, we had to inject something completely different, colour and sparkle and things that exist everywhere else apart from menswear market. And here we are.
We believe that fun is as important and as intelligent as the deepest, darkest mood and concept. We all go through terror and rage and confinement and all these negative things throughout our life, and that’s reflected well and truly within the fashion market. But we all also go through joy and happiness and euphoria and that’s what we try and bring across, that’s what we offer."