Cozette Mcreery Sid Bryan Joe Bates Designers
COZETTE MCREERY, SID BRYAN & JOE BATES
This label comes as a special sort of package that’s colourful in more ways than one. And speaking of packages, it’s apparently the one area where knit one purl one just shouldn’t be applied. So, despite our initial plans for some nifty mohair thongs, we’ve heeded their warnings. These are knitwear geniuses, after all.
What’s your earliest menswear memory? A favourite outfit/article of clothing? The first show you saw?
Cozette: “It would have to be my father’s suits. He’d go to Paul’s in Soho and have things made to measure, and I’d sit on the pattern-cutting table, usually being asked if I wanted to go to Disneyland; the answer was always no, I wanted to go to Harrods. One suit was in the darkest-brown velvet and covered in tiny hand-stitched flowers; it must have cost a fortune. Family legend has it that he was refused entry to the boxing at the Café de Paris when wearing it. The offer of a replacement, dress-code-friendly jacket was given short shrift.”
Sid: “First designer purchase, gold spandex John Richmond Destroy top.”
Joe: “Jean-Paul Gaultier was a god when I was a teenager, when he started Junior Gaultier; it was as genius as his mainline. One collection is still unbeaten in its application and simplicity. It was all based on the MA-1 flying jackets. I still have a few pieces and my heart still skips a beat whenever I find a vintage piece anywhere.”
Do you have a special talent we’re not aware of? What’s your party trick?
Cozette: “Well, it used to be the ability to down five pints, followed by shots and still be the person ‘putting the drunks’ in taxis. Typical PR. Now it’s five pints of cola and a sugar rush keeping me out until 4am.”
Sid: “I can do the black bottom and hurt my knee bogling.”
Joe: “I am really very tall and have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of transsexualism.”
What’s your biggest vice? We shan’t tell a soul.
Cozette: “Buying magazines. And with most style magazines now hitting the £6 mark, that’s quite a habit to keep going. I’m old-fashioned, I like printed paper.
Joe: “Judge Judy and caffeine.”
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Coffee? Croissant? Something harder?
Cozette: “My alarm clock, followed by a quick shower, dress and fast run to Costa coffee for a soya latte the size of my own head. I go through phases of eating well at breakfast, but they are usually short lived.”
Sid: “Dog farts. They are as hard as it gets.”
Joe: “My drug of choice is caffeine. I am annoyingly perky in the morning and breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I love a good hotel buffet breakfast. I can do four courses.”
Dressing up and going out, or Jeremy Kyle reruns – what keeps you up at night?
Cozette: “Last night it was neck trims. I wish that wasn’t true, but it is. I had a panic dream about a neckline on a cardigan being too thick and I was in the salesroom and it was there, GLARING at me like a neck brace, and I was in a fury. Otherwise it’s the people downstairs who give the When Harry Met Sally diner scene a run for its money. I just turn the volume of American Dad! up really LOUD.”
Sid: “Pub white wine and some Whitney.”
Joe: “Anyone who knows me will confirm that NOTHING keeps me awake at night.”
First piece of menswear you designed? Instant success or epic fail?
Cozette: “Not really designed, more styled. For about five seconds as a teenager I wanted to be a make-up artist and I’d practice on my brother. There are a few pictures of him looking not unlike Yootha Joyce. I guess that, as he’s a 6ft 4in tattooed man mountain and I’m not a make-up artist, it’s an epic fail.”
Sid: “A wild success. A pirate shirt and tricoloured patchwork jeans – I thought totally fail-proof.”
Joe: “My graduate collection was menswear and womenswear. The womenswear was bought by Björk, won a design award, exhibited in the V&A and subsequently showed in Rock Style, a major exhibition that toured the world’s leading museums. I ended up wearing all my menswear to discos. I think that may answer the question. FAIL.”
Mentors/muses? Who never fails to inspire?
Cozette: “Friends and family. They’ve supported me in all of my often-rash and a mostly a bit daft decisions.”
Sid: “Whitney/Kevin Bacon.”
Joe: “My muse for all things is Quentin Crisp. His writings and philosophies are apt for all aspects of life and your chosen lifestyle. To summarise, be honest about yourself, then polish it for easy reading.”
What are you wearing? For the shoot, we mean – we’re not being filthy, honest.
Cozette: “Isabel Marant leopard-print cords and Sibling SS13 east London toile de jouy T-shirt. It’s a bit Rod Stewart.”
Sid: “Sibling SS13 crew with the word ANTI emblazoned across the front, because that was how I felt on Friday. And a black long-sleeve T-shirt and Sibling sport jogger first samples in black. For the show we only used the white.”
Joe: “Skeletal claddagh oversized knitted T from SS13.”
You can judge a man by his…
Cozette: “Friends. If he doesn’t have any – and perhaps keeps his mother’s skeleton in that big old house of his – it’s a red flag. And, yes, a flag I’ve ignored when it comes to dating.”
Sid: “His black bottom, of course!”
We love a bit of knit, but is there any item of clothing that just shouldn’t be knitted? We’ve seen a few enthusiasts on the internet who have taken things a little far…
Cozette: “Haha, no, nothing is sacred at Sibling. If it’s a garment including a full-body one, minus the biology lesson, if you get my drift – it’s clothes not Embarrassing Bodies – we’ll try to knit it. Those are the rules.”
Sid: “NO! NEVER!”
Joe: “If you’ve seen things created with enthusiasm, then cherish them. They have an ingredient that is sorely missing in our industry. As for a no-no for knit… perhaps Speedos – at least not hand knit.”
British style – are we actually as cool as we think we are?
Cozette: “Well, numerous Italians can’t be wrong, although that is an English look we very rarely adopt ourselves beyond South Kensington.”
Sid: “I am as I think I am.”
Joe: “The more you travel the world the cooler we look. A refreshing, independent point of view is what us Brits give the world of cool. We take this for granted, but it is something we should cherish and be very proud of.”
What’s new for men’s SS13?
Cozette: “For Sibling it was full looks – oversized east London toile de jouy hoodies, joggers, three-quarter sport joggers, PRO gold-work baseball caps. Lots of white with flashes of Sibling pink and royal blues.”
Sid: “Well if you look around… nothing! I’m joking, but not much.”
Joe: “Sibling Revolution.”
Text Vincent Levy