Pringle showcased its new collection in Milan’s classic 10 Corso Como store all the way throughout Tuesday. The reason it took so long is because Pringle and designer Clare Waight-Keller wasn’t just busy showing next year’s summer threads but also introducing the next phase in its 195 collaboration with London’s Serpentine Gallery. After having already showed work in conjunction with Tilda Swinton and photographer Ryan McGinley, to mention just a few, the turn had come to, for example, Alex and Nick from Franz Ferdinand, who both had designed their own wool jumper. And that’s why the presentation took a while; in the evening, the pair played a few Franz classics... and their new single!
The SS ’11 Pringle collection is small but focused. Waight-Keller have pinpointed a few details and ideas and gone all the way with them. Her printed trouser fabric allows you to wear and tear them into a truly individual piece, just like jeans. All knits are made from thin shirt fabrics and the same idea has been applied onto denim. One of the best pieces is perhaps an electric blue coat made out of waxed silk, which will be well worth investing in considering the likely chance of rain next summer. And the one after that.
Dazed Digital: What was your starting point?
Clare Waight-Keller: It was men’s classics, the favourite items they always come back to; jeans, shirts, T-shirts and trench coat of some sorts. Then I took ordinary fabrics - like silk, cotton and linen – and treated them with wax, for example. It was all about how we interpreted these items.
DD: How did you solve the knitwear-in-a-summer-collection problem?
Clare Waight-Keller: we took classic cotton men’s shirt, cut them in to strips and hand knitted them in to jumpers. So you can have a shirt and a jumper made out of the same fabric, a bit like a Pringle twin set!
DD: what about the underwear theme: you seem to want guys to show of their undies…
Clare Waight-Keller: Well, guys often have them sticking out over their jeans, and they’re not always that nice, so I thought ‘how about making them more tailored?’ They’re part of a male haberdashery for me and I think it’s quite elegant when the boxer shorts are more tailored.
DD: What’s your favourite piece from the collection?
Clare Waight-Keller: I absolutely love the waxed silk trench coat!
DD: Great jumper, are you happy with it?
Alex Kapranos: Yeah, it’s funny!
DD: How did the whole collaboration come about?
Alex Kapranos: Pringle and Serpentine just contacted us and I found it appealing because there was a lot of people I know and respect involved in the project. Guys like Luke Fowlerm Richard Wright who we know from the Glasgow art project.
DD: And how did you and Nick [McCarthy, fellow Franz Ferdinand musician and Pringle designer] come up with the visual designs?
Alex Kapranos: We had our ideas quite quickly; I don’t think we would have done it if we had to labour over them for too long. The best ideas are spontaneous - they just come out.
DD: Tell us about your design, a lynched golfer…
Alex Kapranos: We were told we had ‘carte blanche’ so I thought ‘what does Pringle represent for me?’ and I thought of golf and everything I hated as an adolescent and that I wanted to rebel against. So I took that famous image of the Pringle golfer being executed… Pringle went for it, they obviously have a sense of humour…