A Blush of Rose
London Fashion Week part 3
This page contains a lively mix of heritage and new brands. All of them I've been fortunate enough to attend their shows and/or write features about them in print and I'm fascinated to see the new collections that come out each season.
Vin + Omi - The Dreaming.
I'm pleased to say I had an inkling two years ago at the London debut of this pair in Sept 2014 for the SS15 collection that these two would be going places. With supporters Debbie Harry and Jennifer Saunders cheering them along on the front row they are now one of the most sought after of the emerging designers
Having reached it's 200th birthday in 2015 Pringle of Scotland are in the bullseye target of who we think of when it comes to British heritage luxury fashion houses that are producing garments and collections that have a completely contemporary sensibility and edge. Today with it's origins in the beautiful borders beehive
Aspinal of London continue their quest to explore heritage style and ideas and welcoming us to Claridges Hotel one of the traditional hearts of London's Mayfair they took the opportunity to introduce us to a new collection of several different moods that blended the best of old and new. For Spring and Summer 2017 they
It was off to high Holborn we went to one of the most atmospheric locations used for LFW, St. Andrew's Church for the arrival of the new seasons haute Ready to Wear Women's collection from Huishan Zhang. Huishan is a designer that I've followed for several seasons and his works stands apart on the show schedule as a series that exudes a maturity and sophistication that bears all the hall marks of his early training at Central Saint Martin's in London and most notably during a placement year in the Haute Couture atelier of Christian Dior in Paris. This is plain to see in his work that contains a precision and attention to luxury detail that often takes designers a number of years to acquire, but for Huishan he already seems to possess a masterful hand at home with the creative process.
Johnny Coca has arrived at Mulberry to give it some new life and continue the reshaping and development of this super star brand in the London Fashion Week constellation. I maybe sound a bit poetic and fanciful here but Mulberry is one of the British labels that shows on the schedule that is genuinely known and respected across the globe. I was very grateful for my surprise of a place to see the show after covering Mulberry in the past several times and being a very happy owner of Mulberry too. For Spring Summer 2017 writing itself was a theme of the show with the motto 'Good Words Cost Nought' leading the theme and the show itself taking place in a large print works. It was an inspired choice and the set with it's giant rolling conveyor belts both in and obscured from view was a thought
designers that show in the London Fashion Week season. This season in a landmark collaboration they teamed up with art materials supplier Daler-Rowney taking a lateral thinking approach to make-up artistry the celebrated art materials firm (I have a stash of my own) collaborated to create masterful hair pieces worn by the models to complete their look. With wigs that looked like backcombed bouffant eccentric chic at it's best, swept back from the face they set off the carefully styled garments creating a memorable muse for this season.
The opening look to the left with it's white skirt and touches of the vintage gothic in it's fabric inspiration carries the tags lines of the anti-gun crime message Vin + Omi want to share this season. The ruffles, applique and the rose print in grey emphasise feminine grace but also a a mind an heart that is focused a cause. Almost doll-like this outfit like much of the collection is all about making the statement, the impact and a positive one. Vin + Omi create bold looks for Red carpet entrances that will not be forgotten. To the right a thigh-split cream cowl neck dress with quilted puffer jacket cape gives a classical silhouette a twist and offers a universal wardrobe staple. Centre layering was skillfully used to emphasise volume and texture and interesting using traditionally feminine elements to make a garment that looks perfect on a man, and why not. This is love of fashion not guns of street war.
To the right a long black diaphanous dress with ribbed fabric cut carefully to avoid any figure definition made an entrance that definitely had the Red Carpet vibe about it. The models walked very slowly presenting this collection allowing the detail of the garments to sink into the minds eye of the viewer. To the right a knee length cocktail dress with with beautiful sheer satin cape and train gently hung from the shoulders and swept the floor. There where moments when I felt like I was watching a contemporary Haute Couture in the gently folded layers of silk walking before me. Further to the right out sized sequins trace the line of the feminine curves of the wearer subtly elongating the figure providing a beautiful shimmer as she walked.
The collection titled 'The Dreaming' was a modern fantasy moment capturing that time between sleep and waking. I was also imagining trendy down town Manhattan where the Vin + Omi label was first born and characters from the art world and Society world in New York. To the left a print dress under neath a tulle ruffle layered jacket gives a heightened feminine twist with tonal contrast from a red wig containing a palette with brushes holding the hair in place. The colour scheme of grey print and a bold colour focuses the eye on appreciating the detail. Two men's pieces in the centre use print on dungarees and leggings showing channel fun clubbing wear ideas for Summer in the city or wherever you may be. The long line print dress to the right with seemed panels and flowing a-line skirt brings a touch of bohemian chic to the catwalk and another party dress with wide appeal. Empire line tailoring and beautiful Rose print in icy blue-green brings a sense of romantic noir to the collection. Another classic sophisticated piece that you could wear for black tie and the most relaxed party too. Coordinating with a stylish shopper it looks relaxed. To the right satin silk dungarees in oil shine colours translate the rose print onto a new surface.
Floral prints where looming large in this collection much to the delight of front row guests including Radio 1's Jo Whiley who later DJ'd at the after party and Julia Sawalha keeping the Ab-Fab theme going. The print design playing with a theme of colour inversion like on old camera negatives was eye catching and reminded me of my own Rose icon for the website that inverts to a green if you look at it from a different angle. This collection allowed the design duo to showcase more of the well developed tailoring skills that they have at their disposal with the varied palette of print designs coming out in different styles of colour and cut. Tailored close to the figure or draped the options are plentiful and they give off effortless easy glamour. To the far right a look channels the corseted bodice and upper lengths of the full skirts of the Victorian era. Cut open to the thigh this look plays with multi layers of length so as not to look too constrained by conformity. It's a dashing dazzling piece to give the effect of the Victorian era line with the contemporary comfort of modern styling.
Above to the left a unique floral patterned coat and long black dress make a beautifully tailored look that would sweep beautifully into any room or along a side walk. The floor length maxi dresses to the right are both on my wish lists wish their beautiful light print and gathering at the neck giving the effortless lose flair and movement that we love in Summer dresses. An out-sized ruff collar on the dress to the right forms a note of contrast with the bud prints of the wearers dress. To the right soft bunny shapes, one of the key season themes sit across the surface of the fabric with roles at the knee and cuffs adding extra an extra style dimension. The suggestions of paint itself and the process of creation is outlined most clearly in the look to the right with pink pastel flowers buds trailing the run of colour into the length of the garment. The pinks and mauve's against the black make a perfect contrast effect that's eye catching, contemporary and fresh. To the right above the sexy slinky white dress is an absolute classic that is chic an understated. In classic Vin + Omi style they turn up the volume adding a grey out-sized layered ruff collar/cape. Teamed with a red wig it's a striking tricolour in key Vin + Omi colours. There where many different looks here but all blended seamlessly around a central dream like theme that spoke in a soft harmony.
I'm a huge fan of Vin + Omi's work and feel like this season they have taken sophistication to the next level in their styling. The avant guarde remains to inspire and intrigue the audience but this collection contains lots of looks that have a broad cross generational appeal to women with a sharp taste in fashion and style. For me later visiting and reporting on the Sam McKnight exhibition at Somerset House and seeing the must-have signature totes on display in the shop it's a reminder of how closely the industry is intertwined. Flowers are a huge part of this collection and Sam's exhibition also references flowers his great love through it. I covered the exhibition in two separate features for my web page and a national newspaper.
Village that is Hawick in Scotland the firm continues to broaden out it's international business with much production taking place in Italy but retaining a string link to the area that nurtured not only Pringle but other ancient textile houses. Founded in 1825, brought to international fame by the Duke of Windsor in the 1920's and a raft of stars during Hollywood's Golden era Design Director Fran Stringer stands on top of a vast heritage but looks boldly forward to the future. To the left the opening look of the collection off sets they style heritage in one easy movement with a cardigan draped off the shoulder and a light dress cloaking the figure cut open to reveal the knee. Taking a minimalist cue but also looking at textile play and experimentation the look to the right offers the lightest tunic dress you could wish for in Summer. A long sleeved shirt and cut away skirt in similar fabric offer a layered option gently echoing the drape and cut of the bias in it's styling.
Striping down to basics and echoing the surge of interest in the making process the next look in golden tones shows the jacket and skirt making a feature of the loose fringes of material offering a shimmy and sway as the wearer walks. Gently reflecting the light and an echo of the beautiful sands of Scottish beaches (if I'm being whistful for a moment) this look and the fringed tunic and trousers next to it make a bold statement that would look fantastic at a private or public reception in the Spring and Summer season. Chocker collars in simple fabric offer a colour continuity through the garment and to the right a soft light one-sie gets the Pringle Scotland treatment in a guise that looks a little like a Long John from the 19th century. Re-awakened for Spring - Summer 2017 it's an elegant piece.
Of course there must be some feel of Scotland in the collection and frankly when turning to Pringle to see what they have in store for this season it's what many people hope to find. The array of things that can be done with a tartan weave is amazing and above to the left he play gets under way with a beautiful tunic sweater garment that features fringing in a scarf-like effect also reminiscent of the loom and the origins of pieces. Wide leg black trousers provide a muted contrast to create a long seamless flowing line. Mixing tartan in complimenting tones is softly eye catching with gentle cross sash detail at the bust forming a high waist and side split skirt in the length of the dress.
A rampant Scottish lion sits proudly on a dual toned long knit sweater with sleeve fringing. Matched with a neutral navy blue skirt swinging lightly with the walk it shows that the traditional craft can be transposed perfectly to the catwalk. This is light Summer knot that will keep you warm enough through Scottish Summer nights. There's more than a hint of traditional country clothing in these looks showing heritage styling as well as heritage textiles have a place in fashion. Keeping it simple with traditional knit to the right the last look above features a tunic dress that could be work on it's perhaps even without the trousers or part of sleek modern paring. The navy is universally flattering and stretch weave of the knit gives maximum comfort.
The gingham check squares of a scooped neck dress herald bright summer days of beaches and parties with a slide slash allowing more freedom of movement in the length of the skirt. A long knitted blue dress in marine colours with hues of blue in bands annotates the length of the dress showing variation of colour to the eye as it moves across the surface. A beautiful white cotton shirt and wide legged culottes feature the wrapped detail at the bust seen above with front buttoned blouse detail giving an extra spin on the dress design above. Also brought out in cobalt blue this look is a new twist on some Summer classics. A long white sheer knit piece with under slip dress explores a minimalist form while the lines of the check are transformed into an abstract feature in a 'pulled apart' form to the right.
The differing design moods of this collection do feel unified around colour themes and design ideas. There never seems to be a lack of direction within the collection. The cross bodice wrap effect is explored further in a beautiful blue dress above to the left making a feature of wrapping the fabric around the figure while the buttons of an open cardigan top underneath echo the legendary cashmere cardigan knits that have been worn across the world since the twentieth century. Long line tunic tops over skirts and trousers continue the theme of emphasising style, comfort and ease that comes from the experienced textile production. Pringle are working very hard to maintain a brand that captures a sophisticated international clientele as well as keeping the core of their knitwear clients happy and judging from what came our way for this spring they are managing to please clients all round well.
To the left the opening looks of the collection that worked around the inspiration of key circle themes in metallic circled punched holes. Far left a black wrap around dress with pie crust echoing curves sits like a lose glove on the figure. A perfect outfit for evening drinks, dinner or a party and a piece that will wow on the red carpet too, it sexy and like much of the collection it's also easy-wear luxury. A chic choker collar also lends expression to the dress making an extra statement with it's long black ribbon. Feathers have been a favourite motif of Huishan in the last couple of seasons and navy blue whisps peak from the loops in the black tunic that you can wear for both work and play. The continuing theme that I pick up is flexible international luxury fashion the styles move across themes and are easily translatable. A white skirt showing the same design theme defines the waist with a sheer light lace blouse providing a tonal contrast. A black bra top brings the outfit into the black and white realm of chic evening wear and this look could also work well with a black jacket. To the right a beautiful cocktail dress in the 'modern princess' style that Huishan does so well. It's a great occasion piece and will twinkle wonderfully thanks to the semi precious stones woven onto the surface, more below in close up. To the right the softest lace over skirt gives the extra glamour factor to a beautiful fluted silk tunic and cigarette line trouser look.
Working through the elegant colour palette of black, navy, white, baby blues and pink with a pop yellow thrown in, the trouser suit the jewelled elements of the dress to the left above is almost a heaven to earth piece with the inky black sky highlighted by the twinkling star clusters. It's a great Red carpet piece as well as a pick for a special dinner or party. A slip dress over sheer wide leg pantaloons creates a fresh approach to a luxury evening wear piece with a reflective muse on the bodice of the dress in pearl-like outline. Feather fringing the skirt gives extra volume and moves gently as the wearer walks. The rara skirt makes a sophisticated debut in a light duck egg/baby blue falling above the knee in easy summer style. Long ribbon and sleeves will guard against any hint of a spring chill and the long ribbon gives the extra twist of prettiness.
The circular lace detail in the above black and white pieces is echoed in the picture perfect dress above to the right white lace sprinkled with blue disks. You can dress this up with a smart evening purse and jacket or wear as is. Beautiful layering of the skirt to the right flowing from a tunic bodice brings peplum layered flounces to the skirt lengths. It's a pretty piece again with plenty of movement in the shimmy-tastic skirt that gently moves with the wearers glide. To the right another favourite piece for me personally from the collection with medium blue country print working a simple tunic style country form. Delicate fabric and a long black feminine bow get this piece all set for a smart occasion with a carefree summer time feel.
Above to the left a sheer pastel blouse crosses the figure in an effortless Summer style statement. Matching to a beautiful skirt in baby sugar pink accentuated with pretty white flowers with crystal hearts the thigh split adds a sexy hint to an outfit that is perfect for Summer parties. Making a playful statement the long sleeve feather coated jacket sitting over a sheer skirt makes a contemporary style statement. It's another great red carpet look like much of the collection. Next to the right a fairy-tale party dress with dipped hem and dropped waist has the perfect light and floating feel that instantly attracts the eye. Double layered, the under dress of this look is a figure hugging sheath that compliments the line of the figure with it's floral detail glimpsed through the silver silk gauze of the outer dress as she moves. Wearing black head to toe is one of the most simple ways to make a string style statement when you enter a room.
The off the shoulder dress to the right circles the shoulders with floral detail accentuating the femininity of the figure while descending to the floor with an under dress tunic in black and a sheer silk outer layer. Gathered just below the neckline this look gently ads volume and is a perfect black tie dress that you can also wear for a broader type of parties. Again it will make a great red carpet dress for anyone looking for outfits that will wow in front of the camera. To the right the stella outline of the pearl muse dances across the bodice of the dress with complimented by a full skirt with peplum pink tuck detail in the length.
Close up detail above from the catwalk side of the show. To appreciate the detail and workmanship that goes into these pieces is an absolute joy and you can see a little more if the loop hole detail that echos the lace holes on shoes and other toggle-up pieces. Huishan is really very strong at creating beautiful evening wear that ranges from the contemporary to the conservative. There's a broad choice of looks in this collection as in previous, but all looks complete and composed around unified themes. He's simply one of the leading designers around on the show schedule currently for chic evening wear with a twist of 21st century luxury.
celebrated their collaboration with Actress Michelle Dockery who channeled the classic shape and line of her grandmothers 'snap' handbag of the 1950's and 60's to create a range of contemporary styles. The colours black, pink and grey trimmed in some style with the Aspinal signature snake skin. Channeling the retro crocodile skin style this is a look that doesn't appear old fashioned. It's a very practical style to bring back in partnership with Michelle also as the shape, reminiscent of the 19th century Doctors bag, is also very practical in terms of the amount of space inside for storing note books, cosmetics pieces and larger styles can carry a small laptop. The different permutations of colouring offer quite a variety of styling options and would work well with formal work or smart off duty outfits.
Claridges is always a wonderful place to stop and take time to talk to special people or take stock of the beautiful art and architecture around you. It's the perfect setting for special moments but the art deco and belle epoch interiors lend themselves incredibly well to showcasing fashion especially. Above to the left you can see some hand bags in oyster and scarlet colours in a variety of sizes and showing how they can also be accessorised with a silk scarf to create a tonal colour contrast. A beautiful tea party hosted jointly by Aspinal and the wonderful Peggy Porschen of Elizabeth Street in Belgravia (one of the most wonderful cake creators in London) took place in the reception hall leading through to the banqueting hall where Aspinal created their own candy coloured version of the neighbour hoods of London. It reminded me of how I saw London when I was very young imagining painting the town in all the candy colours that come to mind.
Claridges banqueting room became an alternative tableau of London in the pastel sunshine colours of Notting Hill and Chelsea complimenting the beautiful sugar pinks of the fantasy frosted sweet cakes we'd seen from Peggy Porschen. The pastel pink bike against the railings emphasises the lighthearted playfulness of the collection and famous British and London emblems such as phone and post boxes where painted light blue and pink instead of their traditional cardinal red. A great improvement in my opinion :-) and even easier to spot against the urban backdrop of London. Above to the left you can see some of my personal favourite prints from the collection with soft florals set against the design forms. Above to the right two shopper totes in a blossom caviar and blush suede are perfect about town carry-all's for the new season and coordinate with handy slim line purses. For work, light shopping or going to school or University they are perfectly sized. Below to the left two larger sized versions offer more room with bases that are broader than initially meets the eye.
This season saw design input from a collective of young creatives with a series of design collaborations. Above to the right the popular letterbox saddle bag get's a makeover with a seasonal sugar pink tone. It's soft curving edges are sure to be popular amongst clients this season. Part of the set for the presentation was the frontage of some of the typical townhouses found around the London neighbourhoods that Aspinal where musing on and through the lattice windows bags where displayed to show the preference the occupiers. I wondered what Chelsea and Notting Hill would look like if all the residents put their favourite bags in the window on any given day and what a fun taste barometer it would be if you took an evening walk around. Above the small Lottie bag in pink Kaviar uses a classic simplified oblong shape and a quilted chain to create a look of classic style.
There where several different permutations of the Aspinal box bag style in Kaviar pink once again, a key colour of the season and also in their collaborative prints along with translations into the Lottie bag style. The gentle water colour designs are redolent of the gentle spring sunshine days and colours and as we headed into winter tucked inside the warmth of Claridges it was an exciting promise of things to come. Either style has great gifting appeal also to someone in your family or circle of friends that you would like to find a special treat for. These pieces again are surprisingly roomy for their size.
This ice cream colours of the slim line purses to the left are another compliment to the pastel colour scheme. They remind me of the Portabello road area of Notting Hill and some streets in Chelsea such as Markham Square that I've shown on my Instagram feed before and other colourful corners of West London. Above you can see two more brightly coloured windows showing small holdall and alma style designs. To the right you can see the one of the many wallet-style pieces heading our way this spring with it's beautiful soft floral design. Compact and flat shaped they make great party clutches with space to hold invitations, cash or cards and some simple on-the-go make-up pieces. Pretty and handy is the name of the game here.
Taking the idea of the Claridges hotel and home setting that the accessories will no doubt make their way to, giant traditional wardrobe with clever inside mirrors formed a natural show case for a number pieces from different parts of the collection. In black, white, silver and tones of gold these pieces where formed around the heart of the Aspinal design repertoire. Centre above you can see a series of purses accompanied by a signature Aspinal cuff bracelet and to the right you can see a series of Aspinal's signature styles featuring a Zebra pattern. There was something about this part of this collection that reminded me of Africa with it's rich colourful wildlife and seams of natural minerals and amazing traditional jewellery and craft.
Two of the sweetest purses that would make the best gifts for a special young lady are the Star Clutches. An metal frame cross crossed with shimmering sequinned inlay and a beautiful snap-close catch is a good design to be held through the evening at drinks, or easy to set down on a table if you are going to dinner. Again they may be small in size but you can fit in a card, cash, keys, a lipstick and a small compact mirror. Above a few more of the box clutches with their zebra print and black and white designs make a statement that can be subtle or striking depending on how you style the look with your outfit. Aspinal is clearly trying to create a defined brand image but they do manage to bridge the gap between formal and more playful looks with appeal for different purposes.
After taking in the extensive collection and saying 'Hello' to many faces from the fashion world passing through the banqueting hall I retreated to the salon for a few moments to take tea and cake before heading onto more shows in the evening. Filled with the fashion faithful also between shows it was a lovely point to stop and say 'Hello' to people. There's very little reason not to allow yourself to give in to the delights of Peggy Porschen as they simply make some of the finest cake in London and a good option when thinking about making orders for birthdays and parties. Below you can see the delicious tempting slice that came my way and to the right further treats from the parlor set out on Claridges China that gives me that strange de ja vu feeling (in a good way) every time I see it.
With a very international crowd gathered to see the new collection it's apparent that Aspinal is aiming to show the best of British style to an international audience but with a contemporary identity. Reworking heritage styles for the early 21st century is providing a route to offering many ideas while also leaving plenty of scope to cater for a broad base of needs. They perhaps understand that there isn't always a need for a brand to be hugely experimental if there is a strong enough market for they genre of styles that you produce. For larger international fashion Houses this is also the case and it shows that it's a lesson well worth keeping in mind for design teams. Below to close I chose some more images looking at some of the House classic styles such as some of the looks from the Dockery collection below to the left and the letter box saddle style to the right in it's uniform classic colours. As the wheels keep turning at Aspinal it will be interesting to see where they head next and what the future has in store. It's sure to be something pretty.
evoking scene. As the machines whirred into life the models began to walk out in front of us for Johnny's second collection for the house. Mulberry began life as a family run business based in Somerset in 1971, today it's a global brand with an international following and many eyes keen to see the latest offering come out from the House. The brand had since grown to have a strong place as an international favourite and this first became very apparent to me personally a few years ago when I saw the Mulberry boutique in Paris on the Rue Faubourg Saint Honore. Taking it's place alongside the other high fashion labels but at the same time offering something stylish but a little different. Mulberry goes through it's phases of evolution but still retains a core feel to it that captures the modern Britain
Above to the left pressed lines of knee length culotte trousers contrast with a round open neck tunic jacket in lilac-midnight blue. With a soft slouch style hobo bag this presents an easy look for work or leisure practically proportioned in true Mulberry style. Embroidery was a key feature in many looks of the collection with swirls of lilac - midnight blue sweeping around the figure in a luxuriant black tie or occasion dress for Summer night parties that fused the lines of the traditional evening tea dress with touches of ruffled flamenco flare perhaps nodding to Johnny's home town in Seville. The folds and curves complimented the beauty of the female form with an artisanal touch of applique twinkling across the night sky fabric. This look would also shine on the red carpet too.
Centre above under the bright lights a two piece ensemble in nude pink is relaxed in it's luxury with long flowing lines and a gentle swing in it's movement as the wearer walks. Sitting just on the shoulder this look is one of many that will work well on wearers across the generations. The khaki tunic style long shirt jacket and fluted tunic skirt show a sensitive re-working of traditionally army style kit. One of the themes of this collection was of uniform becoming. Above to the right the pressed lines of the culotte get re-worked into a luxury dress mode with a silk jacket detailed in applique. Bending the rules slightly as I sense that Johnny likes to do, or really just making your own this blends red carpet with summer casual. The utilitarian becomes anything but mundane.
The Mulberry house red gets a re-awakening with the gently styled belted light coat, twinned with a box shape tote, apparently styled from the British school lunch boxes this look is perfect for running around town, or in the country in during those tricky in between season months. It's a colour that's bold but not overpowering and will coordinate well with work and leisure wear. Uniform without uniformity proved a fertile ground for ideas with the V necked short sleeve tank top embroidered with swirls of sequinned feminine patterning. The skirt is an open form kilt, asymmetric in it's lengths and crafted in light silk. Coca is channeling the naughty school child undoing and 'adapting' their school uniform. Coca sees Britain as a nation of uniforms from school to Oxbridge colleges to the formal wear of the professional world and Lords and Ladies of the manor. Within this framework his fascination is then in deconstructing these formal notions.
It's an alternative grown up uniform that speaks of it's own style. Borrowing the stripe detail from the blazer that inspired the collection it spins the formality of the school or club uniform on it's head. The clutch with it's art deco lines in black and white sets of the look of the piece at a right angle giving a contemporary style edge. The long line jump suit takes it cue from the glamourous 1930's and 1940's era. The Land Girl look from the war years was very evident but also lends itself very well to the busy life of women today. To the right a dawn coloured blue dress in fluted floral style with sliced free cut emphasises styling in a single colour.
Fluid printed silk rippling around the figure printed with beautiful lines channel the themes of varsity college uniform and trim given a much chicer twist with the college look with a dress that you could wear in town or to an evening drinks or party in the country too. The blazer itself makes an appearance with a contrasting blue stripe showing the fun approach to mixing and matching the uniform. With the Piccadilly bag tucked under arm featuring the signature collegiate stripe this is a no nonsense approach to rocking these British motifs. The 18th century style raised fluted heels of the shoes worn in the show make a nod to traditional styles and form from past centuries of fashion. British style has lead the way for centuries and Coca's interest and respect for our roots, habits and customs. Combination blue stripes mix/match in an off-kilter harmony with the very desirable post man's lock satchel coordinating with the skirt. It's a style statement that also looks very practical about town look that you could also style for events in the Summer season working the uniform theme. A knee length skirt tied with a ribbon-belt at the waist matches to a lined t-shirt playing with themes of style in a less formal way. The two tone satchel clutch again provides a colour contrast that catches the eye and and spins convention on it's head a little. To the right the tea dress is given wide shirt sleeves for a stronger impacting look but still containing the carefree nuances that imbibe the spirit of the collection. Long arms give a touch of warm practicality to an early spring look.
The colour palette moves from bold to light colours echoing the faded grandeur of the feel of the inter war decades of the early 20th century and carrying the easy swing in design that signals a confidence as well as a confident sense of timeless elegance. The dresses below in particular with their frills and angles emphasise a care style while breaking new ground in cut and line. The Mitford sisters where a key reference point for Coca and images of tea parties, drinks parties and carefree summer days come to mind when you look a these pieces but always looking modern and fresh spinning the conventions of the past and echoing the Mitford sense of genteel rebellion asking the question 'Why not?' And that I think is the Mulberry girl to a 'T' this season. She's beautifully dressed for engagements in the town or country and could wear these pieces for work or leisure and yet within the codes of Mulberry's stripes, plaids, prints and ruffles she remains remarkably undefined and free.
Accessories are a very strong part of the Mulberry brand and for some people they still eclipse the clothing, although I for one wouldn't agree in this. A large number of options for you to accessorise your look with came out on the catwalk from the square Cherwell box bags to the slouchy Tyndale crocodile luxe hobo and angular Pembroke satchel. Infusing the collection with a romantic symbolism has also fascinated Coca with the addition of symbols of love related to the heart imprinted onto the jacket on the breast pocket area where school and club badges usually appear and also in jewellery in rings and bracelets. It looks a little different from the retrained elegance of Mulberry of the past but it's always good to think from another angle and look at communicating key themes and expressions such as human love from another angle. Providing a contrast to the geometric signals of the stripes one colour statement pieces in leather and metallic shimmer. They take the essence of the movement of the kilt and broaden it out to create looks that flow with a liquid like movement on the figure.