Old timers Pringle are currently one of Scotland’s most attractive and popular exports. With Fife-born Prime Minister Gordon Brown in constant foul mood, it seems Pringle’s role as Highland Ambassador have doubled – or even trebled – in importance. Luckily, Creative Director Clare Waight Keller shows no signs of disappointing press, buyers, customers, or Scots in general.
Celebrating 195 years of Argyle patterns and twinsets with actress Tilda Swinton as honour model was not a bad start to their anniversary year. Add to that a heavily cemented ‘Special Relationship’ with Hyde Park’s Serpentine Gallery, and Pringle was in a good position as they showed their AW1011 collection on Monday evening.
As icing on the cake, Keller sent out an accomplished set of clothes, making the heart of each present Scot beat slightly harder and faster. Native staple pieces, like sheepskin, kilt-esque skirts and heavy knitwear, shared the stage with an eye-catching and fresh silhouette in the shape of very loose trousers with over sized pockets.
Flight jackets adorned in massive amounts of beautiful fur, cable knit tops and angularly cut evening dresses came out in black, grey, beige and moss green colours. Towards the end, the more formal pieces even dared emerald green and shimmering gold shades. One of the many catwalk hits included knit duffel coats sitting on top of double-breasted coats. Simply draped dresses flowed freely in the Serpentine gallery; fashion and art in perfect harmony!
Dazed Digital: What was your main inspiration behind the show?
Clare Waight Keller: A lot of Scottish influences of course, but it was also about pairing it down and playing with proportions. Small tops and bigger bottoms!
I also wanted to mix up textures, so we used tweed and tartans, but mixed it with leathers and shearling.
DD: Did you have any other points of reference other than general Scottishness?
Clare Waight Keller: More than a theme it was a statement of cleanliness and structure.
DD: The wide bottoms, were they also an attempt to get away from the skinny silhouette?
Clare Waight Keller: Yes, I wanted to bring some new dimensions onto the catwalk, because there has been so much of the other fit. I wanted it to be extreme in a completely different way.
DD: Were the skirt pleats a reference to kilts?
Clare Waight Keller: Yeah, but also a way of breaking up and deconstructing the kilt into many layers to give it more movement and abstract quality.
DD: Lots of knitwear – you must love the AW collections?
Clare Waight Keller: Yes absolutely! It’s our key season!
DD: Any favourite pieces from the collection?
Clare Waight Keller: Many – especially the sweater dresses with the velvet back and the big pants!