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.