Music Fucks with Fashion: An Interview with Cozette McCreery

photograph by Nick Dorey 

I first met Cozette McCreery when I was trying on a flower and knit embellished coat and did a few twirls of delight. Her head nod of acknowledgment anointed me with a sense of cool that shook me up a little. After hours of online research I couldn’t get enough and I started to run off on tangents of whether or not to question her on her time as Lucian Freud’s muse or her stint in Israel as a shepherd in training. As one third of the design collective Sibling along with Joe Bates and Sid Bryan, Cozette is part of a special order of epic ladies whose stories from clubland can keep you wide awake and high… like a good Netflix binge. When I finally grabbed a moment with her during her preparation for the AW 2015 women’s Sibling show in London, I decided to ask her the hard hitting questions on the designer clothes, raves, and 80’s era Madge that fueled her. 

BJ Panda Bear: What was your most epic outfit of that rave era?

CM: Thankfully no one brought cameras or had smart phones as I probably looked like a sweaty mess! Not sure if it was ‘epic’ as frankly it was pre-raves when all of us club kids really dressed up (I’d wear Alaia, Gaultier, vintage YSL, full red Jasper Conran suits, Alastair Blair, Rifat Ozbek and Patrick Kelly to clubs. Trying to either be very Robert Palmer video or a Roxy Music groupie) and raves were just not the place for full catwalk looks. I’d be in a Shoom T shirt, Alaia leggings and Travel Fox. Or a full Conran multi-strap dance all in one, leather wrap mini (it was like a belt - to quote my Father) and Nikes. Raving was all about the music and dancing and getting really really sweaty, less about the venue and wether your lipstick had smudged. I was also listening to a lot of Hip Hop at the time so that influenced how I dressed too.

I didn’t get back in to dressing up for a club night until Richard Mortimer asked me to take over the door at Boombox. Every Sunday I had the chance to wear my new designer frocks (Gareth Pugh, Jonathan Saunders, Raf at Jil Sander, Giles) and heels. 

BJ: Last seasons epic homage to Madonna circa “borderline” tugged on all my happy strings. What music have you been listening lately to as inspiration for the new collection and life in general? 

CM: I was always a massive fan of Madonna, still am, but that period was the one I love the most and the one I tried desperately (seeking - haha) hard to imitate in my dress. I listen to music all the time and usually instigate the choices for both the men’s and women’s shows. For men’s AW15 I wanted something that sounded like it could come from a young guy’s music collection, played loud in his bedroom. As it was an evening show (and all pink!) I also wanted it to be a bit sexier especially as Matthew Josephs had cast these buff guys. Women’s AW15 is still to be decided as I keep listening to stuff and thinking yeah this is great then walk to it and think nope not going to work. That’s why it’s brilliant to work with Nathan Gregory Wilkins as he’ll offer ideas and we can bat things off one another and Phoebe Arnold our womenswear stylist has good suggestions too. 

As for my day to day listening well, it’s a bit random. I don’t tend to stick to one genre and try not to be a music snob so if I like the latest Ke$ha I’ll buy it. If iPod shuffle kicks out Rage Against The Machine, Odd Future, Prince and then One Direction and Selena Gomez I’m really happy.

Sibling S/S 2015 photograph by Lorenzo Cisi

BJ: How did you get into DJing?...Name your top 5 - 10 songs you love to spin? 

CM: My ex boyfriend Adam put me forward to this all girl DJ group called Hey Ladies. Funnily enough DJ Fat Tony tried to get me to DJ when I was in my late teens but I couldn’t see why I would give up working in fashion to do it. Probably not one of my best decisions ever as he has joked that I could have been massive by now! Anyhow, Hey Ladies started it and we’d DJ at these great parties and record launches. When the group disbanded I just kept going as I still had people booking me and I really enjoy it. I’m good at parties because I never have a set-list. The last one I did was a really mixed crowd: teenage boys to middle aged aristos and 90’s pop stars but I had them dancing at 4am to The Rolling Stones and Blur so I must have been doing something right especially as they then kept me (hardly forced to be honest as I was having fun) there for another hour. 

photograph by Terry Richardson

BJ: A lot of Sibling reminds me of all the great Kansai Yamamoto, famous for his work with David Bowie, with his knits, textures and color. You both have dressed iconic musicians, the Mariah moment is pretty supreme, who do you want to see wear Sibling next? 

CM: Why thank you. Kansai is quite incredible. Am really glad that he’s getting recognized himself beyond Bowie. Ha ha yes Mariah! Matthew Josephs our menswear stylist was with her in NY and was frantically texting me that she wanted to wear the dress to her album listening but I was drinking cocktails with friends and not looking at my phone. By the time I got back to Matthew she was in it and on Vine singing. AMAZING! And we’ve had similar with Pharrell and Harry Styles. Who would we like to see in Sibling next? EVERYONE! Maybe the person reading this. 

BJ: What new musicians do you see really being the center of the fashion scene right now? 

CM: I’m a big fan of Sky Ferreira, Alison Mosshart you know all the slightly tomboy rocking girls. Are they new? (Laughs) And Pharrell of course. And Bieber in his Calvins. Badgirl Riri covered in Nasir Mazhar. Joni Mitchell and Courtney Love in the Saint Laurent Music Project adverts. Patti Smith in Made By You Converse (of which I am also a contributor, gotta love us erm old birds! Little old me and Patti Smith, still can’t get over that) music and fashion are always a very good pairing. Whatever style and age.  

Visit the Sibling London website to explore stockists. Text and interview by BJ Panda Bear, who is a blogger, curator, DJ, fashion obessor, fixture of LA nightlife, and much more. Follow Autre on Instagram to stay up to date: @AUTREMAGAZINE 

Pharrell in GQ shot by Terry Richardson