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 â€“ each sporting their latest Mulberry bag from the Willow Tote collection, named after the companyâ€™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 itâ€™s a canny reminder that Mulberry is Britainâ€™s largest maker of luxury leather goods.
The new Mulberry bag buzz words are â€˜timelessâ€™, â€˜elegantâ€™ and â€˜practicalâ€™. 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.
â€˜We were inspired by the English country garden and then we took it to the tropics so from gnomes to geckos,â€™ 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 wasnâ€™t just the bags that really hit the mark this season. The clothes, â€˜soft and hardâ€™, 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 â€“ 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.