Sister by Sibling
February 16, 2013 London
"She was a rare thing," Joe Bates said of Yates before the show. "An overtly sexy woman, flirty, pretty, and clever. But women loved her…whereas women hated Wendy James!" For those of you not brought up in Britain during the mid-eighties and exposed to our pop culture, in one peroxide corner you had Paula Yates, one of the presenters of the music show The Tube and the partner of the musician Bob Geldof. And in the other you had Wendy James, the lead singer of the alt-rock-pop combo Transvision Vamp.
In this collection Yates is the focus, with her post-post-punk style of "domestic disturbance"—a sort of mélange of forties/fifties domestic goddess with subversive punk prowess. "Energy, fun, and Englishness," as the trio describe it. With added knitting: Sibling is a knitwear house, after all.
This spirit manifested itself in immensely desirable yet wittily subversive feminine pieces. Floral knits, with a spin on the traditional twinset, disrupted and disturbed by giant black dots—a nod to the artist Chad Wys—and an allover coating of clear sequins. Signature Fair Isles made slightly off with intentionally grubby color choices—chocolate brown and baby blue, for instance—with body-con engineered ribbing. Complex knitted floral jacquards or bouncy leopard-spot ones—by now a firm staple of the Sibling line—contrasted with Sid Bryan's giant hand-knits in scarves, berets, and capes.
Bryan has a long lineage at other design houses accomplishing this sort of thing—McQueen and Giles included. Hence, the tour-de-force knitting and production skills on display at what could be seen as a relatively new label.
Yet, now in its fourth season, this kid-sister offshoot from the men's brand Sibling seems altogether more Big Sister, firmly establishing its own accomplished identity for all to see here today. For starters, you will be hard-pressed to find model casting as good as this one at any other show in London, full stop: Cara, Eliza, and Kremi to name only three of the pitch-perfect cast of characters on display. Then again, Katie Grand is the stylist of the show. In short, and only two days in, this can be looked on as one of the highlights of London fashion week.