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Military berets and aviary plumage: fight or flight? Sibling’s S/S 13 menswear collection makes a case for both.

The word “Revolution” was spontaneously spray-canned onto the runway backdrop. Sham 69, the English punk band’s chant of “Guilty! Guilty!” yelled over the sound system. The overriding mood at the Sibling’s S./S 13 show? Sid Vicious heading for the guillotine.

However, when it comes to the chop, Sibling’s heads would most certainly bounce, rather than roll – as aggressively fluffy guerilla pompoms offered protection, via gigantic plumage.  The designers referred to the beady-eyed knitted headgear as “the owl” – sounds like code name for trouble. The night bird comparison was undeniable – whilst accompanying feathery boleros, thick in bronze paillettes, looked like the kind of armour you could happily fly away in.

The sartorial uprising continued, as the Sibling design trio – Sid Bryan, Joe Bates, and Cozette McCreery – hijacked the traditionalism of Toile de Juoy, to offer a Hogarthian take on the London east end riots, of 2011. Rural scenes of gentle farmyard toil were replaced with images of terrifying yobs, looting corner shops. The twinkling squalor of Hogarth’s 18th Century Gin Lane feels subversively civilized, in comparison…

Sibling’s sportswear fixation, played out via baseball caps, knitted tracksuit bottoms and pseudo trainers, tapping into the millennial uniform of choice for the discontented. Think of this satirical take on sportswear as also a timely beta-blocker for the cultural anxiety around East London’s hosting of the Olympics, this summer. As the establishment of organized sport lands in the hood rat’s domain, two sportswear tribes will meet. Whether these tribes will get along with one another, is yet to be seen.

But it doesn’t stop there. Not content with taking to the runway with domestic anarchy pinned to one’s moodboard, Sibling’s gold spun lurex and Moorish grid locked intarsias also saw the creative narrative strike a knitting needle at the heart of all things Arab Spring.

The last few weeks must have seen Sibling’s knitting machines pounding, back and forth, with the urgency of a manifesto obsessed typewriter.

Consider our wardrobes signed up.


Photograph: James Norris for