Pringle updates the kilt at London show

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A fresh take on the kilt dominated Pringle of Scotland's catwalk show in London on Monday, as the loss-making brand continues its efforts to shake off its golfing image and join the modern luxury market.

Loose knit pleated dresses and kilted skirts mixing cashmere and leather were shown alongside full-length, wide fisherman's trousers with huge pockets in greys, browns and black velvet, on day four of London Fashion Week.

Sheepskin jackets, pleated tops in earthy tones and chunky knitted dresses, some with extra weaving to bolster the shoulder area and neck, mixed Pringle's knitwear heritage into 21st century elegance and style.

Owned for the past decade by the Hong Kong-based Fang family, Pringle has in recent years tried to shake off its image as a label for golfers - it had a 20-year-partnership with Nick Faldo - and remarket itself as a luxury brand.

Creative director Clare Waight Keller was brought on board five years ago to turn the label around, and was joined by Chanel's former director of global marketing, Mary-Adair Macaire, who became chief executive in 2008.

Actress Tilda Swinton replaced Faldo as the face of the brand, and it made its debut at London Fashion Week with a much-hyped show last September.

Speaking at Monday's catwalk show at the Serpentine Gallery in London's Hyde Park, Macaire admitted the task she faced was huge, noting that Pringle only had four of its own boutiques - two in London and two in Hong Kong.

But despite continued losses, she was confident for the future of the label that claims to have invented the twinset and the trend for cashmere.

"It's been a product that's been very much kept a secret for a long time. It was just a question of figuring out where we needed to go," she told AFP, adding: "We're really just waiting to happen."

The autumn/winter 2010 collection kept to the finely crafted knits that Pringle has made since 1815, but with a modern take.

"You could see the references to the (fashion) house but not done in a really literal way, but in a more fun way," Macaire said.

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