5 things you need to know about pringle of scotland spring/summer 17 menswear
Ahead of his intimate show-and-tell Pitti presentation, Massimo Nicosia exclusively invites us deeper into his well woven world as he discusses the infinite possibilities of knitwear, being inspired by 80s Britain and feeling like a student.
At the creative helm of Pringle of Scotland, Massimo Nicosia regular takes inspiration from the heritage company's past whilst fixing his gaze firmly on tomorrow and beyond. For spring/summer 17, he looks back to mid 80s Britain. Delighting in the duality of the worlds depicted in James Ivory's vision of E.M Forster's A Room with a View and the soft-power of style magazines including The Face and i-D. As he asks us to peer through Julia and Hannes Hetta's interpretation of this incongruity, he takes us on a tour of his imagination and talks us through spring/summer 17.
1. On pushing the possibilities of knitwear
"Pringle of Scotland is a heritage knitwear brand with a 200 year history. I like to be informed about its past, browse the archive, understand the old techniques but then I move on to the future. The past and present should not neglect each other. The spirit of now is very important, especially for an iconic heritage brand. Knitwear gives you infinite possibilities to explore, investigate and come up with something new."
2. On spring/summer 17 inspirations
"Spring/summer 17 plays with the incongruous: comparing 1908 and the 1980s - it's a clash between the Edwardian era and the 80s in the UK. It is almost like watching Room With A View while you flip through early editions of i-D and The Face, which is pretty much what I did. It might sound like a random game of opposites, but this movie was released in 1985 and it was portraying the elitist world of Brits in 1908 travelling overseas. Conversely, in the mid 80s, British subculture was travelling all over the world with the soft-power of magazines like The Face and i-D, Indy Rock and Pop music, New Romantics… Anglophiles all over the world were inspired by all of that - men's grooming and the style of mixing one's grandfather's suits with polos and sweaters, military vintage clothes, and tracksuit bottoms - the high and low mixed together. The moodboard was based on this parallel that ultimately I merged together.
For me, the moodboard is a very organic tool that helps me to provide tangible visuals for the Pringle design and production team; visuals that ground ideas that are otherwise just very much in my mind. I constantly update it with new pictures but the essence, the guidelines, stay pretty much the same from the very beginning. This season, there were a lot of pictures from i-D and The Face editorials taken during the mid 80s, Neville Brody bold graphics, Michael Raedecker needle-work paintings, Mary Corse artworks featuring stripes, Edwardian boating jackets, and vertical stripes from the 80s. The poetic kindness captured in Room with a View clashes with the bold and cool young crowd portrayed by Derek Ridgers in clubs and on the street, at that time. What was I listening to in studio? O Mio Babbino Caro ... and The Smiths.
3. On working with Julia and Hannes Hetta
"When you work with very talented people like Julia and Hannes Hetta, you have to give them some freedom; you wait to see what they explore that you didn't consider before. I am very curious and I like to learn from such talent. This is the whole point of working with creative minds. My brief was very visual but not meant to force anybody within a strict template. The most important thing was to capture the vibe and the attitude from the guy I had in mind. It was not merely about the clothes. We were looking at the same images, we were bouncing ideas back and forth, we were listening to the same music. In the end, everything came together pretty much how I had envisaged, but with some unexpected diversions. It is so refreshing and gives me new ideas for my next season."
4. On presenting at Pitti
"Pitti and Florence seem to be the perfect stage for spring/summer 17 and it was all about scouting the right venue - in my mind I was looking for a room with a view overlooking Cappelle Medicee in San Lorenzo. My mood board is about to become real. We are doing an intimate show-and-tell presentation to allow people to experience Pringle at very close inspection."
5. On the excitement of today, tomorrow and beyond
"I feel like a student ready for my dissertation, but it feels almost over. Done. I can't wait to move on my next project."
Text Steve Salter
Photography Julia Hetta
Styling Hannes Hetta