Mulberry’s creative director, Emma Hill, has been feeling a bit wild lately. Last September, the British heritage brand’s epic Spring 2012 after-party turned Claridge’s Ballroom into a full-on Noah’s Ark-meets-grand-carnival venture, with guests snacking on cotton candy and taking home their own lion or zebra balloons. Hill’s zeal for zoology continues in Fall 2012, with the likable monsters of Where the Wild Things Are seeming the most palpable cultural reference point. This latest walk on Hill’s wild side came through most convincingly on the coats, which were shaggy and in jungle hues, the more elaborate versions rendered in spiky Mongolian fur. Dresses came in chevron and Navajo prints; hemmed boots, like many witnessed during this London Fashion Week, were folded over the ankle, lending the foot a pony-heeled look.
Unruly prep-schoolers and eccentric Old Hollywood glamor also inspired Hill’s vision for Fall 2012. The latter motif comes courtesy of – who else? – singer Lana Del Rey, for whom Mulberry has already christened a new icon bag, the Del Rey, just in time for her front row appearance (and dinner performance) in London on Sunday. Azealia Banks, another ubiquitous face this London Fashion Week, sat nearby.
Boldfaced guests notwithstanding, Mulberry’s show was a romp thanks to its sheer decorative bravado. If walking into the venue via a mock grove of willow trees and being greeted by two giant, catwalk-cresting owls didn’t hint where things were heading this season, the music choice of David Bowie’s seminal “Scary Monsters’ did.
Music tends to play a crucial and symbolic role in Mulberry’s modern universe, inspiring well-curated runway mixes and new design ideas alike. Last year, the Mulberry Mixtape tour featured the likes of Hurts in London, Del Rey at the mythical Chateau Marmont and a rare, intimate New York appearance from British arena-rock band Kasabian. As the Mulberry music initiative continues to unfold, Emma Hill curated a playlist of personal musical highlights for Rolling Stone; stream it here.
1. Little Dragon – “Shuffle A Dream”
2. Lana Del Rey – “Million Dollar Man”
3. Hurts – “Wonderful Life”
4. Twin Shadow – “Slow”
5. Kasabian – “Switchblade Smiles”
6. Florence and the Machine – “Shake It Up”
7. Hot Chip – “Over and Over”
8. Miles Kane – “Come Closer”
9. Ben Howard – “Old Pine”
10. Eurythmics – “Sweet Dreams”
11. Friendly Fires – “Paris”
12. Sunday Girl – “Four Floors”
13. Kele – “Tenderoni”
14. Bryan Adams – “Summer of ’69”
15. Kavinsky – “Nightcall” (Drive soundtrack)