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LFW: Mulberry

The great English countryside is often associated with the childhood innocence of floral tea dresses and dainty flat shoes. Mulberry however, had something quiet different in mind for the upcoming season. A sophisticated colour palette with a demure take on the classic floral embellishments saw British style reach new heights at London Fashion Week; the grown woman as the latest contender to wander through the great British garden, jacket, handbag and black-haired poodle in tow.

Opening the show was a tribute to the fading style of the 70’s. Leather trousers and oversized coats were styled with an earthy colour palette, finished with metal flower shapes buttons. Contrasting with the colours were simple embroidered flowers in metallic thread and metal flower buttons, scattered along the coats. Following were a series of abstractly cut suits in a luscious shade of cream, worn with textured and ruffle-trimmed dresses, triumphantly appealing to the oversized trend from competitors Celine and Commes de Garcons. Accompanying these bold pieces were equally simple handbags, large simple pieces of leather with metal finishes and rough textured stitching, ideal contenders for the day wear-wear bag on a weekend away.

The road to maturity is a natural process, according to this collection. With the inspiration from nature playing a significant roll, Emma Hill mentioned how the Mulberry girl “is still the same girl. But she’s just always on different journeys” drawing attention to maturity of the designs and how it develops through the collection.

Always the master for accessories, the youthful Alexa bag was worn with a rival new piece of arm candy; the Willow bag. Appealing to the “romantic mood” Hill based the collection on, the new “multi-functional tote-clutch hybrid” came in sweet shades of sugary orange, mint and soft cream, providing the necessary functions as a large tote and an elegant evening bag with its simply cut pieces of square leather. However, the Alexa bag did not go unnoticed, making its entrance in two distinctive looks; sporting the previous shades of mustard leather with metallic floral embroidery and a contrasting classical English floral print with brown leather straps.

Mulberry is also set on merging trends this season; last season’s mint and this autumn’s brocade. It would seem that Mulberry intends to maintain the fresh colour of the moment, as soft shade of mint coated tweed-inspired jackets and crinkled trouser suits accompanied by the Willow bag, finished with silver zips and studded buttons. In contrast, brocade was found on a series of dark suits, pastel coloured dresses, for a fantastic merging of the old and new trends. A navy blue two-piece suit with silver brocade embellishments covering the fabric completely stood out in particular, alongside a blue suit decorated with white and silver lizards, giving the collection extra credit for diversity in its designs. However, the brighter mint and orange chiffon dresses were given an evening twist with a silver and black brocade veil layer, bring the union into a full circle, with a adventurous set of colours, both light and dark, for the colder months ahead.

A rebellion of flowers finished the collection and maintained “the quality and the detail” that the label commits itself to. Navy blue dresses with riots of white flowers in an erratic layout crept down from the neck line and scattered themselves across the hem of the skirt, worn with embroidered jackets, floral hole-punched bags and matching navy strapped heels. Whilst quality and an attention to detail may have been the highlight of the show, it was the effortless style that celebrated another fantastic season for Mulberry.

Rosie Feenstra

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