Head of design for Pringle of Scotland, Massimo Nicosia, on how to dress for 2014. This is the future of sportswear.
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Allowing Sunday to be Sunday, and not just another day of fashion week, Pringle of Scotland invited guests to tea with macaroons and sweet cakes on doll-house tables under the beautiful ceiling and chandeliers of The Savile Club. Head designer Massimo Nicosia created something spectacular in his autumn/winter 14 collection, firmly pushing our current fixation with sportswear into a new dimension, as part of something much chicer and better considered. It's one thing to pick up on sportswear and stick tracksuits and trainers on the catwalk and please everyone for that moment, but what they say about great designers, is that they give you what you don't already know you want. And that is what Massimo Nicosia did yesterday at Pringle, by putting neon orange and white racing stripes down black narrow pencil skirts and smart coats, by allowing the nostalgia of a grey tracksuit to inform a loose-fitted grey twin set, and by transforming the emblemed sweatshirt into something so expensive and beautiful looking, it could visit the Queen. Polo-necked 3D printed dresses reminded us of Pringle's heritage, of Grace Kelly dressing down, the way we now want to dress up. In this collection, Massimo gave us an opportunity we haven't yet been offered, a window into the future of dressing that marries old with new, smart with sport and desirability with wearability.
Backstage we asked Massimo about the Pringle girl and his sport-chic revolution.
Congratulations on a beautiful collection. What was your starting point?
This collection is all about mixing innovation with tradition. The innovation comes from 3D printing, a weaving technique which has been printed literally with nylon powder. The photocopy is interlocked with a beautiful cashmere, knitted with cashmere, or sewn or woven. So the combination of media says a lot about the Pringle direction, being very protective of the past but very fashion forward.
How do the all fabrics work together?
The garments are embroidered with sequins and in the end you don't know what is knitted, what is leather, what is woven; it's a really trompe l'oeil effect.
My favourite look was the maroon sport-luxe dress, how did you introduce that sporting element into an otherwise very evening-based collection?
It is a combination of high-tech 3D printing and a hand-knit Scottish cable stitch. This is the recent past of Pringle, in the 80s and 90s, when it was about cricket and golf. And so the combination - the clash of it - it's all about a sophisticated girl who wears pumps, loves stilettos, loves pencil skirts, but is almost a skater too. She's a cool girl.
How would you define your approach to design?
Always with the game of opposites, which represents my methods. I really enjoy mixing innovation and tradition. Streetwear, sportswear, and couture. Tailoring with activewear.
Who is the Pringle of Scotland woman of this season?
Maybe… Irina! She's a good representation of the Scottish vibe!