Alistair Carr is learning that the stitcher that go into making a sweater can be as intriguing as any of the tales behind the tattoos that snake up his arms.

The recenly appointed creative director of Pringle of Scotland thinks of his inked etchings as mementos of where he has been, but of knitting techniques as harbingers of where he is going next. (Just as well, really; there is barely room to inscribe his initials, let alone a road map for the future.)

The geometrics on the gray silk-and-cashmere sweater that opened his first show in London in September, for instance, are a pallete-cleansing statement of his vision of a new day for Pringle.

It is and intarsia technique that required Alistair Carr to travel from London headquarters to Hong kong simply because that’s the last place in the world able to produce that level of intricacy.

“The linking has to be done by hand,” says Alistair Carr. “It would have been easier by maching, but I wouldn’t have been able to use so many colors. Anyway,” he continues, “I have to challenge myself–I am new to knitwear!”

alistair carrNot that you’d know it. The British, who arrived at Pringle in March from Balenciaga, has quickly and purposefully gone back to basics.

In recent times, Pringle tried transitioning from purveyor of Scottish cable-knit twinsets for Miss Marple types to ubercool global fashion label. (Both Tilda Swinton and Ryan McGinley signed on to add their studied chill to the proceedings.)

Yet it fels as if Pringle had dropped a stitch or two along the way, that the super-conceptual approach to sweater dressing wasn’t perhaps the best pattern for the 196-year-old company to follow

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