A Mulberry menagerie makes merry at the Marmont
It was a Mulberry menagerie in Hollywood on Thursday night, when the British luxury brand took over Bungalow One at the Chateau Marmont for poolside dinner, drinks and a performance by up-and-coming torch singer Lana Del Rey.
Arriving guests were greeted by a zoo's worth of Mylar animal balloons -- many of them disconcertingly life-size -- in the shape of tigers, zebras and giraffes, giant plastic ice cream cones tucked into the hedges and the words "Ding Dong" spelled out in balloon clusters across the surface of the pool.
At the single long dinner table -- that stretched nearly the entire length of the pool patio -- party favors included paper eyeglasses that spelled out "Oooh," as well as swimsuits and sun visors from Mulberry's spring 2012 collection.
Kate Bosworth, Juno Temple, Cat Deeley, Gia Coppola and Jamie King were among the Mulberry-clad guests sipping on peach margaritas and Champagne. (Apparently, the Mulberry team got hooked on peach margaritas during their stay at the Coachella Music Festival earlier this year.)
After dinner and a short set by Del Rey (one to keep an eye -- and ear -- out for, with a Sarah McLachlan-meets-Adele-meets-Nico vibe), guests moved inside for more drinks and dancing among the inflatable herd.
The carnival-like decor was designed to conjure the carefree, carousing spirit of the spring runway collection, inspired by British beach shenanigans, including all the fun to be found on the pier, such as donkey rides, ice lollies and carousel animals. (And by "British beach shenanigans," Mulberry creative director Emma Hill said she was referring specifically to her own childhood trips to Brighton, "where we'd be sitting on the beach in bathing suits with coats over top, under tents in the rain, eating fish and chips.")
It may be Mulberry's strongest season yet for clothing, from the beach bonkers print (depicting lots of cold-looking people sitting fully clothed on the beach in the rain) and airbrush animal prints splashed across blouses and floor-skimming tube dresses, to the dressed-up jackets and drawstring skirts, in Mulberry's own star-and-clover lace.
Hill put an emphasis on outerwear, with waterproof anoraks and trench coats in lemon sherbet yellow, fern green and nightshade blue, packable ponchos with drawstrings and hoods in pebble beige, cozy ribbed tops and leggings for layering under strapless dresses.
And, for when the sun actually does come out, there are sporty 1970s inspired baseball tees, buttery leather jogging shorts, miniskirts and bomber jackets, as well as a smart-looking boucle shorts suit. Gem-dotted T-shirts and booties, as well as the "posh pier gear" dress laden down with jewels, referenced twinkling lights on the pier at night. And the famous Bayswater, Alexa and Lily hand bags were updated with colorful jewels, scallop edge detailing, or teddy bear-shaped rivets and twist locks.
There was also a ray of retail sunshine for West Coast fans of the brand who, until now, have had to order all of their Mulberry online: the luxury label is slated to open a San Francisco boutique in May, and plans to follow that up with a Los Angeles location in 2013.
Which sounds just beachy-keen to us.
--Booth Moore and Adam Tschorn
Photos top to bottom:
The atmosphere at the Mulberry pool party at the Chateau Marmont.
Left to right, Kate Bosworth; Mulberry creative director Emma Hill; Nathalie Love and Gia Coppola.
Left to right, Juno Temple; Lana Del Rey. All party photos courtesy of Mulberry/Wireimage.
Spring 2012 runway show images. Courtesy of Mulberry.