A Few Great Scots Take The Reins At Pringle
Pringle’s marriage of fashion and art has so far produced a David Shrigley film that’s a YouTube hit and Ryan McGinley’s hypnotic collaboration with Tilda Swinton. The three of them were involved in the company’s latest project, co-curated by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist of London’s Serpentine Gallery, to mark Pringle’s 195th anniversary and the Serpentine’s 40th. A handful of contemporary Scottish artists—and a few special outsiders like Colette’s Sarah Lerfel and Corso Como’s Carla Sozzani—were invited to interpret the twinset and the argyle pattern, cornerstones of Pringle’s past.
Swinton re-created her grandmother’s cardigan in a color she called “glass green,” just about the most traditional Scottish shade you could imagine, complete with the darned sleeves and elbows she remembered, which honorary Scotsman Waris Ahluwalia then “couturized” with silver and enamel buttons and a thistle brooch. Shrigley named his fractured-argyle twinset “Annoying,” because he’d added a big label that stuck out in the annoying way labels stick out. McGinley’s piece, “John” (pictured), featured a black seagull against a white backdrop (Jonathan Livingston Seagull, for the record, because “my work is about being free as a bird,” said McGinley). And Scot-rockers Franz Ferdinand and Turner Prize winners Richard Wright and Douglas Gordon were still working on their twinsets, but, at today’s press conference at the Serpentine, Gordon promised a flesh-toned piece which would duplicate in intarsia-ed cashmere the tattoos that litter his torso. He reminded us all that part of Pringle’s rich Scottish heritage was that it was the football hooligan’s aspirational label, “and pink Pringle made you look extra-hard.” On cue, his mobile issued a blast of AC/DC. You’ll be able to buy Doug’s tats and all the other artists’ twinsets in editions of 195 at Pringle stores come September.