Designer Emma Hill has been creative director at the British label since 2007 and these last few seasons she has defined her handprint of quirky, well-crafted, richly-fabricated clothes, but this week at London Fashion Week she shifted up another gear.
It was as if the designer had been looking to New York and Paris for inspiration such was the uber luxuriousness and grown-up attitude of the clothes. Take the shearling straightened like hair she said that panelled the hem of a coat or served as grand sleeves on a navy fishermans jacket worn over skin-tight leather shoulder-length trompe loeil gloves. Very luxe, she confirmed backstage, caught in an it girl sandwich between Alexa Chung and Juno Temple.
There were still cheeky elements at play the self-deprecating Hill loves a bit of British humour and sees it as her job to never get too serious, or overtly self-conscious about what she serves up. So she pointed out the skater skirts worn over cropped flared trousers, the high chunky heels and her play on butterflies and woodland animals that were printed on long dresses or woven through sturdy coats as examples of her wit at work.
But lets not forget what Mulberry is all about Hill certainly hadnt the bags. Naturally, almost every look (40 in total) came complete with bag attached. We wanted luxury and sophistication but its always important for us to look at our heritage, she said. Hence the Suffolk, Willow and Bayswater took centre stage and very expensive they looked too, in line with the richness of the rest of the collection.
The ultimate accessory? The dog collar in black veg tan. Actually, make that the dog: a more luxurious poodle you will not find. The clothes, however, are not dog-walking material.