"I always have a lot of references," Mulberry creative director Emma Hill said backstage after round two of the label's four mini-shows. For Spring, her list included abandoned fairgrounds, Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, refracted light, and Tim Walker photographs. Hill set her scene just right with a runway that wound around a spooky-sweet circle of carousel horses, with the soundtrack of Air's "Highschool Lover" putting all present into a dreamy fashion trance. That hazy element of Hill's vision was a boon to the collection, keeping its sweet touches of big bows and puffed sleeves from becoming saccharine.
The look was Coppola's Lisbon sisters crossed with your cool seventies babysitter, the one with the groovy fringed leather bag. She would have been thrilled to see the swingy strings on the stacked-heel moccasin booties that ended up being an integral part of the postshow chatter. There was fringe on bags, too, but the best was a simple, double-buckled messenger named the Alexa after New York's newest fashion obsession, Ms. Chung. Also of note was Hill's recasting of the label's signature leather jackets, the biker and the poacher. Now in washed soft hues, they're the kind of thing you want to wear every day. Now that's a fashion dream.