Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
When SIBLING reveals their winter muse to be no less than Jean Michel Basquiat, you could just wonder how come this didn’t happen sooner. It’s such a perfect match: the messy, neo-expressionist brushwork of the Brooklynite artist translates from wall and canvas to fair isle – SIBLING’s own, perfected language. The result is a hand-knitted marvel that measures up to this top-notch art-world comparison more faithfully than any print could. As per the silhouette, it’s all Basquiat’s. Spacious, baggy suits from the hyperbolic 80s made to fit a larger-than-life personality, and droopy woollen jackets hanging loose, that call to mind couch throws and men’s housecoats, the classy loungewear we wore before the tracksuit. But it’s one particular portrait of the Brooklynite maverick that most of all drives the collection forward, the 1985 photograph by Michael Halsbland that finds Basquiat standing next to Andy Warhol in matching boxing gear, for the promotional poster of a collaborative exhibition. Other than granting context for supersized knitted gloves, punching bags and cushioned headgear, as well as shorts and socks, the reference lightens the troubled-artist mood and allows for SIBLING’s trademark sass to smoothly seep in. A more mature version of last season’s jock, the SIBLING boy retains some of his cheek – he gets on the ring to show off soft, shimmering medals and branded underwear, elevated now when we think of Basquiat in his Everlast boxers. The athlete, after all, was one of the artist’s personal heroes, and perhaps it’s time to separate our idea of sportswear from that of streetwear, of casualwear where it all got mixed up. It’s the former that inspires Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery this season, in all of its flashy palette and promise of glory.