London Fashion Week is now well under way, and at the Mulberry show yesterday creative director Emma Hill led the audience on a stroll through a fragrant country garden with gently nodding daisies woven into lace dresses in sherbet shades of apricot and mint.
Rotund florals cropped up on simply cut outerwear too – most prominently as oversized golden postman's lock fastenings on leather trapeze line coats with bracelet sleeves. Going back to nature and pastoral scenes is not new for the brand, which continued its long running love affair with the animal kingdom too. This season's spirit animal was the gecko, which appeared as a printed motif on jacquard, leather and silk separates worn by models accompanied on the runway by pampered poodles.
"Our prints were influenced by English florals and tropical colours in different sizes and scales," said Hill of the new focus for the brand for this season. "We revisited our archives and reworked our leather craft heritage." As well as biker jackets, high-waisted biscuit-coloured wide leg trousers were crafted in nappa and teamed with sweaters to create a louche 70s mood.
The clothes and canine models stirred almost as much interest as the celebrity filled front row, where Olympian Jessica Ennis made her fashion week debut alongside Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern.
Simone Rocha continued the floral motif with her collection for spring/summer which included a sequence of pieces in lace, laser cut with more daisies. This fabric, in hi-vis vest yellow, white, black and fluorescent pink, was cut in to bell-bottomed skirts, pencil shifts and biker jackets. A cellophane sheen overlay married nostalgia with modernity, while sheer panelling continued a peek-a-boo trend that has emerged throughout the week.
Where Mulberry's garden was elegant, and Rocha's petals were crisply defined, Meadham Kirchhoff took their blooms in another direction. Models wandered languidly around a stage set of painted screens and velvet chairs garlanded with bouquets of old-fashioned heady blooms. Bows and swags were printed on to a checked skirt and jacket, fastened at the front and back with more pink ribbons, which also appeared on matching lace and elaborately decorated white leather thigh high boots. Cycling shorts and a flattened boater in cornflower blue completed this look.
A red and white embroidered polka dot silk dress with matching bloomers and a white bodice and a black and gold brocade short sleeved jacket with mini skirt embellished with teardrop crystals and feathers were more stand out pieces in an entirely bewitching collection.
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