For the first collection under Gaby Day’s tenure as men’s wear designer, Pringle focused on its Scottish homeland — particularly the Shetland Isles — for a fall collection that borrowed from its land and traditions.
The palette reached for earth neutrals provided by the environment, from mossy, olive and sage greens, to the brash yellow of gorse — a painfully prickly springtime shrub — and natural variations of wool itself.
Shetland wool, with its coarser hand, resulted in chunkier pieces, like a fisherman’s cardigan fastened by metal clips, or a sweater bisected down the middle and featuring inverted black-and-white and white-on-black patterns.
But the isles also lent their traditions, and the achievements of its star produce. One handmade jumper featured a patch that looked like two halves of geometric Taatit rugs — a Nordic import found from Finland to Ireland — had been knitted together, as they were at weddings, while a thinner gauge allowed those geometric patterns to become a jumble of graphic ribbons. Elsewhere still, they became a textural loose knit pattern.
Climbing references, in graphic patches or in the handful of mountaineering-inspired outerwear, weren’t to Ben Nevis — Scotland’s highest summit, culminating at 1,345 meters above sea level — but a nod to the Shetland knits worn in early Everest attempts.
But the lineup also made good on its “of Scotland” appellation. Sanquhar — the two-color Fair Isle diamond pattern — appeared on similarly patched numbers, giving the impression of a sweater turned inside-out and worn askew. Offered as complements, tapered trousers, boxy jackets, a quilted blouson and light parkas featured water-repellent wool, hoods and their simple good looks.
As a whole, this was an exercise in using a crafting tradition’s vocabulary to the fullest extent. Day shows promise at turning out a fine chapter for the brand.