2013 marks the fifth anniversary of Sibling's men's range. Wood is the traditional gift for a fifth anniversary. Natalie Wood was the star of West Side Story. West Side Story was a musical about the Jets and the Sharks, gangs and their dreams. Cozette McCreery, Joe Bates, and Sid Bryan—Sibling—live in the East End, where gangs gang and dreamers dream. East Side Story is Sibling's new collection.
That's the barest logic you need to impose on Sibling's Spring collection for men. The wood theme was amplified by jacquards and a backdrop derived from the woodgrain work of artist Richard Woods. The angular urban grids of Saul Bass' designs for West Side Story were imposed on Sibling's knits. America's gangs—everyone from bikers to baseball players (after all, a sports team is only a well-trained gang)—made their presence felt in the clothes. And best of all, the pragmatic optimism of West Side Story's saga of life in the New World elevated McCreery, Bates, and Bryan, who could all tell tales about how the Old World has crapped on them of late.
Quite how that elevation found expression is close to Sibling's campy, cartoonish heart. They wove the stiff plastic strings that are used to make scooby friendship bracelets into knits that looked from a distance like they'd been glamorously strung with bugle beads. They made baseball outfits from pink crochet or Lurex pastels or velvety leopard-print jacquards. And they cast the show with beaming, be-quiffed and broad-shouldered Adonises who all looked like they were on their way to an audition for James Bidgood's underground fairy tale Pink Narcissus. Reality was kept at a distant remove. But the ludicrous degree of technical proficiency grounded the clothes in craft. And the positivity they radiated made you feel damn good that there will always be people who are prepared to adopt such a "whatever" attitude to the vicissitudes of the marketplace.