Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the planet this morning, but I’ve not been too terribly pleased nor the least bit excited by most of what I’ve seen coming at me down the runways of London this morning. By the time we hit the end of Julien Macdonald’s horrible presentation I was rather surprised that the models didn’t stage a full-scale mutiny and refuse to do a finalé walk on the horrible pock-marked concrete that caused many to turn their ankles and totally disabled one poor girl (who wasn’t able to make a return appearance). I normally am at least amused by British fashion, but too much of it this morning was just senseless.
So, it was with no small sigh of relief that noon came and we settled down to the whimsical, light-hearted, and predictably alternative fashion views of Sibling. Designers Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery always seem to have a bit of a tongue-in-cheek approach to their designs and the label is known for being fun, spirited, and a bit out-of-mainstream. Certainly, you’re not likely to find something here that would be suitable for wearing to tea with your mum, but if going out for the night with friends then this is certainly where one wants to find their wardrobe.
Fun doesn’t mean a lack of creativity, though, and this season the trio displays a remarkable ability to couple unexpected fabrics in the most delightful of ways. It’s one thing to see the ensembles from a distance of a few feet, but get up close and examine the detail as PVC merges with crocheted pieces no larger than a drink coaster. In fact, the little crocheted doilies on some of the pieces do rather resemble something your grandmother might have sitting on a side table or something. While the looks themselves may at times seem to border on the frivolous, there is some impressive engineering taking place on these garments.
All that being said, these are definitely seasonal pieces. While the collection started with a couple of cute knit dresses in a pastel rainbow, it didn’t take long for the looks to turn to bikinis and back-laced PVC. The longer the show went, the more daring the collection became. At times, the cuts flirted dangerously close with nipple exposure, and at other times they didn’t even bother flirting. A couple of large-mesh crocheted dresses would barely even count as swimsuit covers, assuming one was wearing a swimsuit, which the models were definitely not. There were so many very tiny bikini bottoms on display that one might justly refer to the collection as a bit cheeky.
Clear plastic played a dominant role again this season, as it has done before with this label. The trio is very creative with how they utilize the weather-proof material, though I must say that the clown-sized tiered plastic ruffles were a bit much, even for me. Plastic clothes seems to be a logical choice, though, for a country that is constantly damp and mildew-ridden. I’m rather surprised we don’t see more of it.
Worth noting is the fact that models were wearing three-inch stilettos with ribbed knit socks on every look. After seeing almost no significant heels in New York, we’ve seen a plethora of stilettos already in London and this is only the second day. I’m not sure exactly why, it’s not like the models are very good at walking in them, and if the models can’t handle some of these surfaces it would seem to spell disaster for the average person. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.
Diversity is still lacking horribly on the British runways, though, with only five of the thirty models being non-caucasian. I’m being told that casting agents simply aren’t pushing ethnic models through in any significant numbers. If that’s the case, then someone needs to illuminate said agents to the error they’re making. Again, the best I can do is give Sibling a three on our diversity scale, which is sad given the brand’s appeal.
Though the morning’s gotten off to a bit of a rough start, I’m hoping Sibling marks a turn around point. There are some heavy-hitters on the schedule for this afternoon. I doubt any will be quite as cheeky as this show was, though. Sibling was really quite fun.