MULBERRY might still be without an official captain at the helm following the departure of Emma Hill last year but that doesn’t seem to be causing it any problem. In fact, the luxury fashion label is very much embracing this as time to redefine and work out what it’s all about, go back to its rich heritage, rekindle that British charm and make it modern and youthful – and all with Fran Stringer, head of ready-to-wear design, leading the way.
And while last season we had the distraction of Cara Delevingne’s new bag line over any clothes, that was set right – something that started with the pre-collection earlier this year. Kew Gardens continued to be inspiration, only this time – as Stringer noted – with the addition of some “hero flowers”. Mulberry is back in bloom and an English country garden very much its motivation.
So what do you need to know? Well delphiniums are the flower of choice – featuring as blown up illustration prints on elegant any-occasion dresses or as lacework on blouses; gardening clogs are no longer only for the home, rendered here in colourful jacquard; trellis is cool – worked into perforated leather jackets and dresses; parkas are de rigueur; grandad cardigans can bring sparkle to any outfit, because here with glitter they do; and one bag can actually be six. Yep, you read right.
The Delphie is the bag to note – a clutch, a handbag, a satchel, or all and any of the above, the idea here is catering for multiple occasions by lengthening magic straps and unbuttoning the front fold to reveal a new colour or fabrication and thus a new bag. Impressive stuff – and ideally catering for today’s time-poor but style-seeking folk.
And that, in fact, is the overall crux of this collection: parkas over pretty dresses; outfits for the British summer social calendar (think the arts, the Serpentine), utilitarian but romantic with it – how to straddle today’s dress codes. But make them appropriately “Mulberry” too.
A final note for those wondering if it was the day for the grand creative director reveal – no.