British luxury brand Mulberry threw a poolside party and barbecue at the Parker Palm Springs on Saturday, with creative director Emma Hill hosting a slew of Coachella-bound bold-face names, including actresses Lily Collins, Kate Bosworth, Emma Watson, "Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant, L.A.-based fashion designer Corey Lynn Calter and jewelry designer Suzanne Felsen.
Collins, a Coachella newbie, was happy for the break. "Last month, I was on 23 planes in 20 days," between the press tour for her film "Mirror Mirror" and shooting the indie film "Writers" in North Carolina, she said. "So I'm just excited to be hanging out with my friends."
Bryant was another newcomer to the Coachella scene. "I usually go to Stagecoach," said the Tennesee native, referring to the country-themed music festival that also takes place in Indio in springtime. Bryant was wearing oversized bubble gum pink sunglasses, a 1980s print playsuit and an aquamarine ring designed by pal Felsen. So what do Stagecoach festival goers wear? "A rebel flag bikini and cowboy boots," Bryant said. "Well ... not me personally."
The Mulberry event was themed around monsters. The entrance was flanked by humongous, hard plastic monster paws. Outsized inflatable creatures floated in the pool and populated the lawn. Even the lounge chairs had become creature comforts covered with beach towels bearing a hairy monster pelt print and dotted with tiny, monster-shaped pillows that proved popular props for those being photographed poolside.
But there was a method to the monster madness since it reflected the inspiration of the brand's fall and winter 2012 collection -- Maurice Sendak's children's book "Where the Wild Things Are," as well as Spike Jonze's movie adaptation of it.
"I almost bawled my eyes out when I saw that film," Hill said earlier in the day, taking me through the fur, boucle, lace and tweed fall samples of the collection, which proved to be popular choices with Mulberry's celeb fans on the chilly first day and night of the Coachella festival, when they hosted an after-party at the Parker again with a performance by Kasabian.
Some standout pieces included a leather-and-lace bustier dress with tie-dye panels, a flame-colored tweed coat, a tribal-meets-Art Deco zigzag beaded flight jacket, sparkly tiger print sweaters, shaggy fur vests and monster-print sweatshirts, all in a grunge color palette of black, gray, orange and army green.
The Del Rey bag, inspired by songstress Lana Del Rey, spawned a waiting list as soon as it came down the runway at London Fashion Week in February. For fall, it comes in an immensely chic iridescent goldish green snakeprint leather, and some versions have a turtle shaped lock. The Maisie is another new bag, with trompe l'oeil details on the front and shearling or snakeskin sides. In addition, old friends the Alexa and Lily bags have been updated with chunky chain handles, tassels and studding.
Mulberry will open its first West Coast store June 16 on Grand Street in San Francisco. And an L.A. store is in the works too.
Mulberry's foxy Coachella pool party
A Mulberry menagerie makes merry at the Marmont
At Coachella festival, music and fashion are a natural fit
-- Booth Moore
Photos, from top: At left, actress Lily Collins and Mulberry creative director Emma Hill; right, Wild Belle's brother-and-sister act Natalie and Elliot Bergman were among those attending Mulberry's monster-themed pool party at the Parker Palm Springs during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Credit: Donato Sardella.
"Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant sips a drink poolside. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times.
Harley Viera-Newton, from left; Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor; Emma Watson. Credit: Donato Sardella.