Are you a fox or a rabbit? That puzzling question I got asked when entering the Clarides‘ Ballroom this morning to attend the Mulberry AW2011 salon show. Puzzling also the front row on the other side: interestingly, there were five kids seated – and about as many dogs. Holly Shackleton from i-D Magazine, who was sitting next to me, and I had a good laugh. I like it when fashion makes people smile.
The collection was inspired by mysterious inhabitants of the countryside and from rural English pleasures and pastimes. These ideas were translated into a show scene that was utterly English countryside-cute: hedgerow animals such as foxes, hedgehogs and squirrels; trees filled with birds; a wooden catwalk, benches and a garden shed; and plenty of toadstools of all shapes and sizes.
The salon show started off with an excerpt from Roald Dahl’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ and a long, golden pleated V-neck dress in metallic crepe followed by a flower grid dress in bronze double faced silk. In general, the dresses got longer and come in structured shapes or soft, exquisite fabrics. The refined boyfriend jacket was fabulous, as well as the tillie trench coat.
Herringbone was a big topic and the colour scheme ranged from black and beige, yellow and gold, deep green and fuchsia to berry colours. In terms of shoes it was all about boots and wooden wedge heels styled to tweedy woollen creamy knee-high socks. Satchels, clutches and oversized but very chic buckle bags made the accessories and clearly showed the new creative director’s background. But this was not it for the accessories: there were some models walking not bags but dogs on the catwalk, which caused some funny reactions from the dogs in the from row.
Asked by LFW how London was influencing her design, Mulberry‘s new creative director explained: ‘London attitude of all general Britishness defines and shapes everything that we are as a brand. From being ironic and humorous, modern yet traditional, luxurious yet effortless, irreverent and feel-good, funny but never try-hard, and locally produced in Somerset yet global in attitude.’ Emma Hill is definitely doing a great job in every aspect.