All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
keeping up appearances

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Mulberry’s sweet '70s dream for spring 2010

December 8, 2009 |  4:30 pm
Not even Monday’s dreary weather could damper the pink, green, blue and yellow confectionery decorMULB_SS10_1972 spilling out of the Chateau Marmont suite where British brand Mulberry showcased its spring 2010 collection. Hundreds of balloons (flown in from London, blown up in L.A.) lined the halls and walls, and candy jars filled with sweets of all sorts were stacked on almost every level surface.

The playful theme of the line’s spring collection and the room’s candyland interior are the vision of the house’s new creative director Emma Hill, who mixed her ideas of the '70s with abandoned fairgrounds and teens coming of age into the dreamy spring line.

“I was inspired by the “Virgin Suicides” and rundown fairgrounds, which gave it a sinister quality,” says Hill (who was in L.A. just for a couple of days before jetting back for the British Fashion Council Awards -- Mulberry is nominated for best accessories and best designer brand. (It's won for accessories in the past but never been nominated for best brand. Results will be announced Wednesday.) This means dresses done in a feminine print of hazy flowers called “fuzzy floral”; slightly evil horses making up the “horse head” print, which is done in a royal purple and gold; a “corsage” jacket with dozens of silver and gray rosettes plugged onto the front of a cropped jacket and lots of '70s-feeling fringe hanging from booties, bags and jackets.

 “The fringe of this jacket reminds me of those guys who ran the carnival rides, they would wear these old fringy jackets.” says Hill with a laugh.

HH7610_673J185 Though the spring line shows a bit of the adolescent angst from the "Virgin Suicides," it’s a twentysomething who served as Hill’s muse for the season’s most covetable bag. The “Alexa” bag, named after MTV host and fellow Brit Alexa Chung, was inspired after the house's creative team saw Chung carrying an old Mulberry briefcase. “We saw her carrying the bag and just loved it.” says Hill, who put a more feminine spin on a slouchy briefcase shape to come up with the “Alexa.”

When she’s not designing or teaming up with Steven Meisel to shoot the brand’s campaigns, Hill loves to visit Los Angeles -- she’ll be out West in a few weeks for an “inspiration trip.” Could this mean an L.A.- inspired line to come? Her favorite haunts are the Ivy, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Fred Segal.  “I love things that are iconic and couldn’t be anywhere else,” she says.

Another L.A.Emma Hill Press Shot Final institution she loves is movies, which constantly inspire her and her collections. “My mom was obsessed with old movies, and that’s what we would do -- she’d bake a cake and we’d sit down and watch great, old movies,” says Hill, who claims to own “millions” of DVDs.  “I am always inspired by a movie. Last season, it was "Snow White." I’m classically English trained in that I start with a theme and really see it through all the way. And I do love a theme.”

The festivities from the daytime appointments carried on into the wee hours of the morning with an intimate dinner and party held in Bungalow 1 of the hotel. The balloons came downstairs from the suite, along with the candy, which seemed to fuel guests such as Kate Bosworth, who danced and giggled to songs played by DJ Daniel Lamoure. Bosworth’s ex-boyfriend, Orlando Bloom, joined her on the dance floor, swinging his jacket around his head like a lasso.

Between impromptu picture-taking, danceable tracks from The Smiths and trays of cookies sitting throughout the room, Mulberry made sure that the bunches of balloons weren’t the only bright spot on a rainy and typically quite Monday night.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Upper photo: A runway look from Mulberry spring 2010. Credit: Mulberry

Center photo: The "Alexa" bag in nude leather with rose gold hardware. Credit: Mulberry

Lower photo: Mulberry's new creative director, Emma Hill. Credit: Mulberry