A Mulberry fashion show is as much social event as it is catwalk presentation. From the posh invitations, which each contained miniature tea cups with the Mulberry leaf, to the enormous buffet spread, there is a sense here that one might be mingling with royalty. No detail goes unattended.

There was also a sense of melancholy as this was the last show creative director Emma Hill will be doing for the legendary label. Ms. Hill leaves to take the lead position at COACH in New York. As of yet, no successor at Mulberry has been named.

Guests to the show at the Claridges Hotel were welcomed by the porter into a garden setting surrounded by spring flowers and, oh look, a peacock. The miniature treats on the buffet were consumed daintily with pinky finger properly extended. Everyone politely took their seats when asked. There was a constant buzz of excitement, especially when Vogue’s Anna Wintour arrived, but one could not ask for a more well behaved crowd.

Then the lights went down and the music start. LOUD music started. Several people were still holding their ears as supermodel Cara Delavigne was first down the runway wearing a monochrome floral print jacket and shorts with white blouse. So very spring, so very proper. Then there was an embroidered blue silk pants suit, a bustier top, and …


Yes, Mulberry even catered to the ADD attendees by sending down a bulldog dressed in the same print as its beautiful handler. The pup made a couple of trips down the catwalk (yes, it’s okay to chuckle at the dog on the catwalk jokes), first in the monochrome print, then in the colored print.

And that colored print is something you’ll want in your closet. Mulberry calls it “Fab Floral; bright red/orange embroidery on white silk with black and grey detailing. The print appears in several garments but nowhere is it more effective than on a loose blouse with black leather skirt.

There is a lot to this line and I could talk for several minutes more about the broad pastel stripes, sometimes with sheer panels, or the final look in cream with flower detailing and carefully placed sequins. What seems to be at the top of everyone’s mind, though, are the handbags. The new style for this season is the Double Sided Baywater; it’s just like the classic Baywater, except mirrored. Judging from audience reaction, I assume pre-orders are already tremendous.

The show closes and one steps out into the gray, rainy cold of London. The feeling is like returning to a drab and weary world after having spent an hour in a pristine fantasy land. Well, that’s exactly what we did, isn’t it?

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