Mulberry staged its first see-now-buy-now show at Spencer House, Princess Diana’s ancestral London home, and is planning a whole weekend of consumer presentations and workshops at the grand 18th-century venue to trumpet the craftsmanship that goes into the brand’s collections.
Creative director Johnny Coca took over the sweeping Spencer House garden to build a rotunda style show space and designed the collection around flowers, greenery and summer tea parties. Coca clearly can’t wait for the warm weather to arrive: A big wall leading to the show space was painted pink and lined with flowers, while waiters served Champagne and tea cakes to guests at the end of the show.
There was even a performance, although not from a string quartet or a brass band, “Downton Abbey” style, but Alison Goldfrapp, part of the electronic music duo known as Goldfrapp. A bit random, given the whole garden party vibe, but still nice to listen to.
The spring collection took in a patisserie palette, with pink satin ruffle skirts, linen suits with long, flared trousers in lime, cream or eau de nil and a skinny, cutout sweater dress the color of lemon rind. There were delicate printed dresses, too, with a twisting flower and vine pattern. Running with the party theme, Coca also fashioned shoes with colored ruffles and frills and rounded heels inspired by porcelain cups.
While the Mulberry customer may want to gaze at Coca’s sweet creations, what she really wants from this collection is a bag. They came in soft unstructured leather with long gold chain handles, with ruffle details around the handles, rectangular and color blocked, or with stripes and embellishments. These were Coca’s real treats, and the motor behind the British brand’s sales.