The Sisters of Mercy now sound like a hollow-voiced travesty of goth rock, but there was clearly a moment when, for kids like Joe Bates, Sid Bryan, and Cozette McCreery, they represented the height of cool. While their mums swanned around the living room in floaty crocheted hostess gowns, they were upstairs in their bedrooms empathizing while Andrew Eldritch howled about the "Temple of Love." Those fond memories were the guts of the collection they showed for Sibling today.
"Temple of love? More labor of love," McCreery joked in the cold, hard light of adulthood. The major pieces in the collection featured superfine-gauge rib knits torn apart and mended with hand crocheting, and then some. One hundred hours of work per garment. They were an extraordinary blend of ultra-technique and total anarchy, which meant they fitted right into the Sibling ethos.
But the trio have wised up in that department. They're representing Europe in the upcoming Woolmark Awards, so what seemed like a radical disassemblage of convention also translated with appealing efficiency into a roll-neck sweater or a poncho. There were gowns at the end of the show—bias-cut, delicately laddered gothic widow's weeds—that left the coltish young models hopelessly tangled on the catwalk. That simply issued a challenge to the real women who might choose to drape themselves in such finery. A Fair Isle sweater elongated into a bejeweled sweater dress was part of the same challenge. Maybe the crocheted pencil skirts were, too. There was a hint of va-va-voom sweater girl in such pieces, and that is surely what the Siblings were acknowledging when they paraded Adwoa Aboah down the catwalk, bikini-clad in hot-pink crochet, wrapped in a gorgeously tattered peignoir. The very apotheosis of dressing for the boudoir.