The London spring collection ended, after a whirlwind season that offered some surprises.
This story first appeared in the September 17, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Not unexpected, but most welcome, were the fab items that were spotted at the London Exhibition.
Pringle: It’s a big moment for Pringle, which, like so many of Britain’s venerable fashion houses, is in the midst of a revival. Under the guidance of chief executive Kim Winser, the company wants to freshen its image and appeal to more than just golfers and grannies. At the end of the month, Pringle’s first new-generation store will open on Bond Street, with more to come around the world. On Sunday, Pringle staged its first fashion show in 50 years, choosing an Art Deco London tea salon to showcase its revamped Argyll knits, and introduce a new ready-to-wear collection featuring circle skirts, Harrington jackets and Fifties-inspired prom-girl looks by designer Stuart Stockdale. There were also cashmere bathing suits, HotPants, halter tops, body-hugging knit skirts and cashmere V-necks with plunging necklines. But there were few traces of the sometimes sweet, sometimes punchy, colorful Pringle knits that everyone loves. Revamping a traditional fashion line is a delicate balancing act, and Stockdale is going to need a few more seasons of practice.
Gibó: In her debut collection for Gibó, Julie Verhoeven traveled back to high Eighties Technicolor sportif. But it’s a path London’s designers — Luella Bartley, Clements and Ribeiro for Cacharel and House of Jazz — have traveled before. The designer’s narrow jersey trousers, knee-grazing tiered skirts and track jackets were well done, but not new. Verhoeven, a fashion illustrator, used the artist’s palette as a motif, but what everyone was hoping to see were more clothes done up with her charming, subtly erotic prints. She showed a few tops and skirts splashed with a swirling, suggestive design — let’s hope there are a lot more back in the showroom.