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Founded in 1815 by Robert Pringle, heritage knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland – best known today for its luxurious cashmere and innovative artist collaborations – began as a hosiery and undergarment manufacturer. By the early part of the 20th-century, the brand had begun applying the techniques used to make their undergarments to create some of the first knitted outerwear. Now the fashion brand, which is one of the world’s oldest, is celebrating its 200th year with an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.
“Fully Fashioned: The Pringle of Scotland Story” is curated by fashion historian and academic Alistair O’Neill and explores the rich history of the brand with garments sourced from royal wardrobes, the Hawick Museum, the Women Golfers’ Museum, and Pringle’s own archive. Among the brand’s contributions to the history of fashion are the argyle print and twinset, both iconic prep-school staples, which will be displayed respectively with a 1960s cashmere cardigan and an array of twinsets including a 2010 design by actress Tilda Swinton.
Swinton is not the first star of the screen and stage to collaborate with the brand. In fact, Pringle began capitalizing on celebrity personalities as early as the 1950s, photographing stars like Margaret Lockwood and Moira Shearer.
Royals also have a long-standing affinity for Pringle of Scotland. A sweater worn by Queen Elizabeth II will be exhibited alongside a letter from Her Majesty thanking Pringle of Scotland for the gift. A 1960s sweater owned by Princess Grace of Monaco will also be on view.
Georgina Ripley, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Fashion and Textiles at the National Museum of Scotland said of the show, “Pringle of Scotland has a long, rich and complex history, and has evolved to become one of the world’s top heritage fashion brands. It is fitting that this touring exhibition will debut in Pringle’s bicentenary year at the National Museum of Scotland – home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of fashion and textiles in Britain – and it promises to be a must-see for fans of fashion and design.”
“Fully Fashioned: The Pringle of Scotland Story” will be on view at the National Museum of Scotland from April 10 to August 16, 2015. From there it will travel to the US and Asia.