Pringle of Scotland

Still from the Fully Fashioned films, 2015. Courtesy of the designer.

Alistair O’Neill, a fashion historian and curator whose projects include the Isabella Blow retrospective at London’s Somerset House in 2013, would be the first to admit that fashion exhibitions tend to be a bit static. “You’re working with delicate archival garments that can’t really be animated,” he explains. “And there’s an inherent lifelessness to that notion.” Indeed, such was the challenge of pulling together the 200th anniversary exhibition for Pringle of Scotland, a company that began as a hosiery manufacturer and became famous for its sporty knits. “These are garments that move well on the body and offer a kind of freedom—and that’s what I wanted to demonstrate,” he says from Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, where the shows opens today. To that end, O’Neill enlisted Michael Clark, the Scottish-born choreographer known for his subversive take on classical dance, to create a trio of films with his troupe, giving them reproduced undergarments and classic twinsets, as well as pieces from the Spring 2015 collection, to play with. “They’d just layer the garments on in the most brilliant, effortless way,” says O’Neill. “It felt to me like a very modern approach to dressing.” Watch one of the films here.