Catwalk

Mulberry

Few brands in London can command a celebrity conveyor belt front row, but at Mulberry it is expected.

Backstage, after her best show yet, creative director Emma Hill stood for the photo-op with Kate, Alexa and Lana – each sporting their latest Mulberry bag from the Willow Tote collection, named after the company’s second factory that will open in Somerset in June. A new factory might not be the sexiest thing to name a bag after but it’s a canny reminder that Mulberry is Britain’s largest maker of luxury leather goods.

The new Mulberry bag buzz words are ‘timeless’, ‘elegant’ and ‘practical’. The Willow Tote with its zip-detached envelope clutch is just that and take note, too, of the Flower Tote, with its gold flower lock, covered in laser-cut florals.

‘We were inspired by the English country garden and then we took it to the tropics so from gnomes to geckos,’ laughed Hill backstage, as her son, Hudson, having just been introduced to Kate Moss, tried to jump on his mum for a piggyback.

But it wasn’t just the bags that really hit the mark this season. The clothes, ‘soft and hard’, said Hill, looked incredibly fresh, easy and modern. The structured pieces came in the form of an out-sized boyfriend peacoat and wide leg pants in Nappa leather or slender jackets in a sheeny gold metallic flower jacquard. The softness was in those gorgeous belted sweaters worn over long wafting pleat-side skirts – printed in English florals or miniature geckos.

Mulberry always balances luxury with a sense of whimsy, but this time Hill seemed to leap forward with a sense of effortless sophistication, particularly in the long navy (fast becoming the colour of spring / summer 2013) and white floral/gecko print dress and jumpsuit, or the long army coat in white-washed canvas.

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