London A/W'12 - Pringle of Scotland

Turns out Pringle of Scotland was the happy surprise of London fashion week! I've always like the idea of Pringle of Scotland - Scotland (duh), moors, moodniess, Tilda Swinton, argyle - but anyone can admit that all that potential has been continually wasted with yawn-inducing ready-to-wear collections (I'm looking at you Clare Waight-Keller, you and Chloe deserve each other). So I was pretty interested in last season's first collection from ex-Balenciaga designer Alistair Carr. That show was pretty meh to be honest, but he has more than made up for it with this outing.

Carr seems to have balanced out his Balenciaga-esque tendencies (asymmetry, unexpected prints, geometric leanings) with the personality and more formal elements required for Pringle. The collection seems very Scottish to me, but yes, I will admit that my only qualifying factor is whether I can imagine Tilda Swinton wearing it. A little bleakness doesn't hurt the Scottish-ness either, and those monochrome looks towards the end of the show definitely had a bleak air about them.

But of course Pringle is all about knitwear isn't it? This is how I imagine Carr thought up how to approach the staples this season: (voice over in head) "Knitwear knitwear knitwear... so cardigans... jumpers... wool... cardigans... who wears cardigans... 90s... fluffy... cardigans... KURT COBAIN!"

So in my opinion Carr has slyly looked to the 90s and what was the result? We get ribbed wool, fluffiness, turtlenecks, twinsets and icy grey/blue shirts. I guess you could call that beige twin set ironic, but in fashion the word irony is usually associated with ugliness and there was no ugliness here, just 100% Drew Barrymore awesomeness. I like a designer who infiltrates his influences throughout a collection. I also like a designer who can use such a tired trend and keep the clothes from looking like 90s-themed house party costumes.

The colour palette of the show is noteworthy, too. Apparently Carr was inspired by Ettore Sottsass and other Post-Modern artists, which explains how we ended up with beige, camel, baby pink, baby blue, rust red, burnt orange, navy, white and more and yet it all working perfectly. Also brought to mind was the navy, starchy simplicity of Margaret Howell. Which is nice - maybe a new, decidedly British aesthetic is beginning to form.

The absolute last thing that the collection made me think of is Charlotte Gainsbourg in that one movie with Johnny Depp where they drool at each other over Creep (man two Radiohead references in a week). She just looks so good leaving that record store. And nice Youtube screencaps right?

To finish off, there were also very cool shoes. I would definitely like to stride purposefully around in what looked like less dainty versions of those Giambattista Valli pseudo-platforms. And finally tell me, what is more edgy and thus, more Scottish, than having tin cans on your heels. 

Runway images from vogue.com
Other from depths of internet

No comments:

Post a Comment