When real royalty in the form of the world’s most photographed woman is regularly pictured wearing its clothes, it is little surprise Mulberry drew an A-list audience to its London Fashion Week show yesterday.
On the day the Duchess of Cambridge graced countless front pages wearing a navy blue dress by the Somerset firm, it’s annual show welcomed the most stellar guest list of fashion week to its spectacle in the sumptuous surrounds of Claridge’s Hotel.
Olympic gold medallists, supermodels, Vogue editors, Hollywood stars and the cream of high society – including some Downton Abbey glamour – were at the event curated by a firm that has gone from humble roots in rural Somerset to one of the fashion world’s powerhouses.
After Kingsbury Episcopi’s Alice Temperley provided the wow factor at the weekend the Chilcompton-based firm – founded by Roger Saul in 1971 – followed suit to deliver a knockout Somerset combination.
Creative director Emma Hill described yesterday’s show as a “blend of Mulberry’s English country heritage with a sorbet summer palette”.
She said the Spring Summer 2013 collection shown on the catwalk featured a spectrum of colour, reinterpretations of classic tailoring and Seventies-inspired detailing. The setting was an exotic English garden paradise, with grass lining the route through the ballroom entrance and into the show.
As the guests approached Claridge’s for the show a theme of colour became clear, with gnomes from Mulberry’s own Somerset garden dip-dyed all the colours of the seasonal palette shown on the catwalk. Guests including Cotswolds-based model Kate Moss, fashion icon Alexa Chung – who has inspired one of Mulberry’s best-selling handbags, singer Lana Del Rey and Hollywood actress Rebecca Hall, who is currently starring in former Western Daily Press writer Sir Tom Stoppard’s Parade’s End.
Others included Olympic golden girl Jessica Ennis, resplendent in a Bayswater-style dress in sycamore from the autumn/winter 2012 collection, former X-Files star Gillian Anderson and Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt. Flanking the catwalk were bespoke Mulberry trees, with heavy branches dripping with blooms including roses, hydrangeas and gypsophila to match the collection.
Nestled among and suspended from the flower-filled branches were geckos – a reference to one of the key seasonal prints featured throughout the looks.
On the catwalk, leather played an important part in womenswear as well as accessories.
Fashion insiders are tipping the Willow collection could be Mulberry’s next iconic handbag.