LONDON — A clutch of British and American artists have pulled out their sketchbooks — and balls of yarn — in a bid to revisit two fashion staples: the twinset and the argyle knit.
This story first appeared in the January 15, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Pringle and London’s Serpentine Gallery are marking their respective 195th and 40th anniversaries with a collaboration aimed at producing a collection of limited edition knits by figures including actress Tilda Swinton, Turner Prize-winning artist Richard Wright and the Scottish writer and artist Alasdair Gray.
The knitwear collection, known as 195 Collaborations, will be shown to press during London Fashion Week in February. The presentation will take place at the Serpentine, and the artists involved will be on hand to answer questions. All proceeds from sale of the capsule collection will go to the gallery’s education and public programs.
“We want to celebrate the very Scottish craft of knitwear, and to create products that are personal and individual,” said Mary-Adair Macaire, Pringle’s chief executive officer. “And it’s a fun way for us to see what the creative world thinks of the twinset and the argyle.”
Julia Peyton-Jones, director of the privately funded Serpentine, said the collaboration fit well with its philosophy. “The gallery has long been committed to design in a number of different forms. And ‘Art for all’ is our mantra,” she said.
She added the “materiality” of the project was also something that interested her, recalling the tradition of tapestry making. “For an artist, fabric and material are another kind of medium,” she said.
The knits are still under development, and most of them will be made in Scotland by hand, said a Pringle spokeswoman. Others will be made by manufacturers based in the Outer Hebrides. Each of the pieces will be produced in a limited run of 195, and they will range from 800 pounds, or $1,304, to 2,000 pounds, or $3,260.
Other artists collaborating on the project are Douglas Gordon, David Shrigley, Luke Fowler, Stephen Sutcliffe and Ryan McGinley.
The Pringle project isn’t the first time the Serpentine Gallery has worked with the fashion world. It has collaborated with the designer Agnès Trouble of agnès b., and in 2007, the gallery chose the Switzerland-based artist John Armleder to design Puma’s Reality Bag.