Decadent Scottish knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a special exhibit that traces the origins of the company and the art of knitting. Named “Fully Fashioned: The Pringle of Scotland Story,” the exhibit will take up its residency at London’s The Serpentine Gallery for a few days before moving to Edinburgh in April and onto Asia and America later this year.
Now a regular fixture at London Fashion Week, Pringle has come a long way since its early days as a modest underwear producer back in the 19th century. Today the brand is known for championing its Scottish heritage and for its innovative techniques and iconic pieces, such as its argyle pattern and the classic twinset, as well as screen-printed cashmere and the latest 3-D printing techniques used on their designs.
“Women were able to use fashion to help create their space in the world,” explained the exhibit’s curator, Alistair O’Neill, referencing the fact that Pringle’s popularisation of knitwear as an acceptable and popular form of outerwear helped women transition into a new era of emancipated dressing. Black and white images displayed at the show depict women wearing men’s knitted sweaters during World War I, as well as adapting their knitted sports clothes in such a way that they could be worn during their everyday lives, thus paving the way for the democratisation of fashion.
The exhibit also makes sure to highlight the glamorous roots of the way the brand grew—as well as displaying a cream sweater from the Queen’s own wardrobe, gifted to her by the company, Pringle also highlights the way it used models and actresses of Scottish origin to flaunt its designs during the ’40s and ’50s. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also view three films by the Michael Clark Dance Company showing the symbiosis between knitwear and the body, as well as brand new campaign images by Albert Watson featuring notable Scottish stars such as Stella Tennant, David Shrigley and Luke Treadaway.