Before we sat down to watch the Mulberry presentation for S/S ’11, the assembled press were treated to cake and tea in the ballroom of Claridges hotel, as the sound of birdsong (albeit birdsong which was piped through speakers) played overhead. It was a very British start and one which perfectly reflected the UK superbrand’s latest collection, which was inspired in equal measures by Grey Gardens (the 1975 documentary about the mother and daughter cousins of Jackie O who lived in demented, decadent squalor in The Hamptons) and Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel The Secret Garden.
Mulberry’s S/S’11 collection was an explosion of floral hues and uptown styling, together with a sense of faded nostalgia. Bouclé, jacquard and suede gave the show a sophisticated, grown-up feel which was subverted by Creative Director Emma Hill by the addition of washed jersey and pale blue stonewashed denim that was almost indistinguishable from the duck-egg herringbone cashmere it was paired with.
Prints were less prevalent than for A/W ‘10, with leopard making way for tigers and rabbits. Colours were sun-faded shades of blue, apricot and pink champagne, which were matched with steel, chestnut and English plum. Paperbag waists gave on-the-knee skirts an unfinished quality, whilst Peter Pan collars, bow embellishment and belted three-quarter sleeve jackets kept things proper.
As the show came to a close, Grey Garden’s Little Edie could be heard over the music uttering one of her most famous catchphrases, which pretty much summed-up the show as a whole: ‘this really is the best thing to wear for the day’ she told us. Never a truer word.
- Alex Butt