Perhaps it was only a coincidence. Today, just as Pringle of Scotland was
showing its latest collection to editors, news broke that the brand's
former design director Alistair Carr had been appointed to head up McQ.
Carr departed Pringle this spring after barely a year in his role, and he
hasn't been replaced; the Spring '13 Pringle of Scotland collection was
designed by an in-house team. That fact, combined with the
acknowledgement by Pringle HQ that the company was intending to turn away
from editorial looks and focus on its cashmere twinset roots, made
today's presentation a rather dim prospect.
As it happened, though, the clothes Pringle unveiled today were more
attractive than anticipated. There was no groundbreaking ambition here,
but a few details shouted out. The collection's "crystal" embellishments,
for example, turned out on inspection to be gem-cut pieces of PVC. The
drawback of Pringle's decision to leave Carr's job empty, however, is
that the brand no longer has someone at the helm to push the
possibilities of its knits. That seems a missed opportunity. But for the
moment, at least, the owners of Pringle of Scotland have chosen to
emphasize not the brand's future, but its past.