The Resident catches up with one half of the SIBLING design duo, Hackney resident Cozette McCreery, ahead of London Fashion Week to talk about their Grace Jones-inspired, Muhammad Ali-esque AW16 collection, sustainability and genderless fashion
Words: Rachel Mantock
What influences are at play for the AW16 collection?
For the men’s collection, it’s Basquiat and boxing with a bit of Grace Jones thrown in. It all stems back to that iconic picture of Basquiat posing in gloves and shorts next to Warhol. Boxing is traditionally quite a masculine sport, so it was fun to put a SIBLING spin on it and knit gloves and cover sweaters in sequins. There’s actually quite a lot of posing involved with boxing. Just think about it, the satin robes, the walk to the ring. Ali and Anthony Joshua are sportsmen but also entertainers, which is odd when you think about how barbaric boxing is.
For the women’s collection, we shifted to full Grace Jones mode and although there is an album cover of her also in boxing gear, we really liked her images where she is kitted out in a body suit with headphones more. There is still a nod to art with a giant paint stroke knit influenced by painter, Pierre Soulages.
What are you excited about in particular for London Fashion Weekend 2016?
Well, seeing our show is high on the list! It’s the first time LFWeekend will be showing men and womenswear together, so it’s fun to be a part of that first. Sid (the other half of the SIBLING design duo, Sid Bryan) and I will hold a short Q&A too. After that, we’ll check out the pop up sales room and see if we can nab some bargains. We work with Linda Farrow so we also can’t wait to see their booth and I’m intrigued by Pom Pom Socks so will hunt them down too. I really love socks.
What kind of aesthetics are at the core of the SIBLING brand?
Sid and I are very social people, we always have been, so many of our core ideas came from being out and about. We also travel a lot. Sid’s a huge Barcelona convert and I’ve just returned from a week at Villa Lena in Tuscany where they have lots of art, music and chef residencies. All of these influence our work. Because we love people, social and reportage photography is another key inspiration, as is music, art and just the drive to make garments that make the wearer feel good.
In June we shook things up a bit and now show men’s and women’s together. It made sense as our SIBLING Squad has always been a genderless gang, we aren’t about any form of segregation really
What can we expect from the SIBLING brand in the future, this year and next in particular?
In June we shook things up a bit and now show men’s and women’s together. It made sense as our SIBLING Squad has always been a genderless gang, we aren’t about any form of segregation really. It’s exciting for us! We have also started doing June and January shows only, meaning that we can dedicated the bulk of our time to LFWeekend. Beyond that we have a knitwear collaboration launching in October and another collaboration launching in February 2017 with one of our catwalk sponsors; I can’t say too much about either so watch this space!
How did SIBLING become SIBLING?
We always wanted to work on a project together. We decided that we wanted to be exclusively knitwear and at the very beginning, only menswear and then BEAMS, Hervia and Dover Street Market picked us up and the project became a brand.
What is your take on sustainability and fast fashion?
We aren’t huge fans of fast anything. SIBLING is about garments that become part of ‘you’, a key look, a garment that perhaps you put on to make you feel better, something easy and most importantly something that you keep for ever. I have a SIBLING leopard sequined cardigan from our very first collection and I’ve worn it to death. I sling it over my day-look of tee and jeans and go out: instant glamour!
All of us, from designers and buyers to press and consumers, are exhausted. Let’s pare back and rethink so that we can all start enjoying fashion again
In what ways would you like to see the fashion industry evolve going forward?
I’d like to see it become a lot less fast paced, less about throw away culture and just generally just more considerate. All of us, from designers and buyers to press and consumers, are exhausted. Let’s pare back and rethink so that we can all start enjoying fashion again.
Has the death of pop icons such as Prince and Bowie and 40 years of punk influenced your collections this year?
There has always always an element of punk in our collections, that has been there since the very start. Bowie and Prince were such peacocks that whether consciously or not, I’m sure that they’ve influenced us. We might have based our collection around the Grace Jones silver lurex catsuit punched with stars and leopard spots, but you could easily imagine the young Bowie in that. And there is a lot of purple and lilac in the women’s AW16 collection, along with knitted lace come to think of it.
Bowie and Prince were such peacocks that whether consciously or not, I’m sure that they’ve influenced us
What are your favourite trends set to take centre stage for AW16?
Mixing very lady-like almost grandmother styles with actual sportswear. Gucci and Prada are always favourites. Ryan Lo’s girlish lace could easily be worn off catwalk with a pair of Nike fly knits, that’s how I’d wear it. And some SIBLING Squad socks!
What are four fashion essentials you think everyone should have?
A sequin cardigan, a second hand something that you can’t live without (mine are men’s check shirts and fine silk old lady dresses) a good pair of jeans, and Converse!
Find out more at londonfashionweekend.co.uk