Protection — against the elements, and challenging world events — has been an overriding theme at the fashion weeks starting last month with the European men’s wear collections. Fran Stringer, Pringle’s women’s design director, was yet another designer who proposed robust comfort clothing for fall.
Her mind stretched to the Scottish Highlands — in the days before kilts — when women would wrap themselves in heavy fabrics and secure them with a metal pin. That idea yielded off-kilter cashmere dresses, and cardigans that wrapped around the body like a lover’s hug.
Long, one-shouldered dresses — some smooth, others ribbed — had slits up the sides and asymmetric hemlines, while curve-hugging skirts and sweaters were dotted with different sized buttons. Wide, floor-sweeping trousers were slashed up the sides, with everything done in a comforting palette of cinnamon, cream and black — and the odd punch of saffron.
Stringer also looked to the Pringle archives, patching together mismatched argyle patterns into sweaters and long dresses with exposed seams. The knitted outerwear far outshone the fabric coats on offer. One floor-length waffle weave cardigan seemed less about battling the elements and more about to lounging, fireside, on a winter night.