MORE ON MULBERRY: It’s Mulberry’s moment. In addition to naming a new design director, and making a major U.S. debut, the ready-to-wear and accessories brand has opened a 535-square-foot London store. The unit, a former antiques shop at 199 Westbourne Grove, opened with a party on Monday. Guests, including Theodora and Alexandra Richards, Ronnie Cooke Newhouse and Colin McDowell, grazed on decidedly English dishes: mini steak-and-kidney pies, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings and lamb-and-mint Cumberland sausages. Mulberry’s most coveted bags were slung from porcelain hooks and scattered across wooden counters against metallic wallpaper with an Art Deco pattern. The Westbourne Grove store is the first of the firm’s new concept stores to open, and others in Britain are scheduled for 2005. Meanwhile, in other London shop talk, Clements Ribeiro and Frost French are planning to open their first shops next year. While Sadie Frost and Jemima French haven’t decided on a site, Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro will be moving to Savile Row.
ANNABEL’S MAG: Annabel’s, the private London club that’s seen everyone who’s anyone glide through its doors, has ventured into the world of publishing. Annabel’s, the magazine, was launched this week and features a mix of fashion and lifestyle stories. Contributors include the club’s namesake Annabel Goldsmith — there’s an excerpt from her recently published memoirs — Nicholas Coleridge, who enthuses about London’s Bath and Racquets club, and stylist Charlotte Stockdale, who writes of her love of Chanel. “We wanted to have the right mix of articles that would appeal to our members, and we’re getting a great response,” said David Wynne-Morgan, a spokesman for the club. The magazine has been launched to coincide with and promote the club’s own fashion week, which takes place next week. Club members and guests will be able to watch runway shows from labels including Vivienne Westwood, Graff, Chloé, Chanel and lingerie designer Madame V. The 110-page magazine was sent free to club members, and there are plans to publish it twice a year, Wynne-Morgan said.
DESIGNING MINDS: Two of Princess Diana’s favorite designers, Bruce Oldfield and Elizabeth Emanuel, are launching new projects on London. Oldfield held a party and couture show to mark the launch of his autobiography “Rootless,” in Claridge’s ballroom on Wednesday night. “I’d wanted to do a wedding book at first, à la Vera Wang, but my agent said people would be more interested in my story,” said Oldfield, who grew up in orphanages and foster homes. Meanwhile, on Tuesday night, Emanuel, who, with her then-husband David Emanuel, designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress, unveiled an exhibition to preview her plans for next season. She’ll be doing a short narrative film with actresses wearing her fall 2005 designs. “I want to show people that I can do more than frothy ball gowns,” said Emanuel, adding, “I think film is the future of fashion — look what pop videos did for the music industry.” She was speaking at the launch of the exhibition, which featured sketches from her fall 2005 collection and mood boards for the movie.