September 21, 2008
The fact that the air-conditioning konked out at her show added a touch of irony to Clare Waight Keller's pleasant if somewhat lackluster Pringle collection, inspired as it was by David Hockney's swimming-pool paintings. "I wanted a bit of escapism," she said backstage. "She's a sexier girl, and confident, but it's still easy." Playing on the company's heritage of knits, Waight Keller rethought the twinset (invented by the Scottish house in the thirties) as a knee-skimming cardigan and matching tank dress with ruffles cascading down the front. She remade the heavy-gauge cable sweater, too, transforming it into a viable summer option by knitting it so loosely that from a distance it looked like lace. Cotton dresses tucked and folded origami-style at the neckline and the waist came decorated with brushstroke prints in cobalt and turquoise, while simple white shifts were densely embroidered in black, blue, and gray for a 3-D effect. A boyishly offhand touch was added by engineer-stripe Henleys, cardigans, and full-cropped pantsbut elsewhere the embellishments were a bit overwrought. As cool as the blues were and as light and transparent as the gauzy knits looked, they couldn't stir the air in the room, nor did they rouse much of a reaction from the crowd.