Representing the luxury British heritage brand, creative director Emma Hill showed on Monday that her designs for Mulberry branch waaaaay beyond their signature handbags. One of the most highly-anticipated, and unexpectedly mischievous, shows of all of LFW was the merry funfair that was Mulberry S/S 12 RTW.
The venue was the ballroom in Claridges, but with an unpredictable Mulberry twist. Instead of the usual grandeur, it was decked out in a retro fairground fashion with massive balloon animals, cuddly toys, and typical seaside style decorations- the lucky guests even dined on little tubs of ice-cream and glass bottles of pink lemonade, and some models walked cute little puppies along the catwalk with them to add to the seaside theme.
It began with a big burst of sunshine yellow, the colour associated with happiness the world over. Yellow chiffon maxis, yellow sports-luxe shorts, shiny yellow trench coats and a delicious yellow Bayswater. Happy happy happy happy. Neutrals were threaded in between all this yellow- creamy caramel socks to emphasise the shock colour of the platforms beneath, a glossy parka in a biscuity hue, taupe ribbed leggings (it is Britain remember. We still need leggings in Spring). Then it was khaki- a beautiful combination of pleated maxi skirt and cosy knitted jumper won me over. And suddenly more and more colour stormed the catwalk.
But it was the gorgeous stripy sundress than stole the show. The canary-yellow, blush-pink and mint-green combo, pared down with matching accessories, reminded me of a delectable seaside ice-lolly or ice-cream (maybe one of those Refreshers lollies? So good). Candy-coloured stripes is fast becoming a trend to watch in Spring, and that influence is not least partly because of this particular dress.
After that, it was just pure Mulberry: the brand's quintessentially British quirks were clear. Dresses, skirts and even hoodies were embellished with large, sparkly gems, perfectly complimenting the shimmering bags that, of course, take centre stage during any Mulberry show. Sheer maxi skirts made an appearance, joined by some stunning accessories- skinny leather belts, cheeky hidden zips. There was everything you need to survive the temperamental British weather while still retaining your fashion credentials- parkas, anoraks, capes, trenches, bombers alongside cosy socks, comfy knits and occasionally even long sleeves- all completely essential!
The gradual ascent from casual seaside-dweller, complete with rain-proof jacket, into glamourous fashionista- complete with jewel-encrusted cropped cardigan was demonstrated through the use of playful, rainbow colours and mish-mash of textures and lengths.
My most favourite part of the show was perhaps the voluminous, candyfloss style hair of the models (inspired by Brigitte Bardot, maybe?) Centre-parted, wavy and windswept yet backcombed with an added hint of candy colour was the look, paired with soft makeup and a smile. Definitely a winner.
My favourite looks from the Mulberry show: