December 11, 2013 New York
Mulberry is currently steward-less. Former creative director Emma Hill's last collection was for Spring '14, and the brand hasn't yet filled her slot. But commerce must soldier on, so Hill's team stepped in to design the Pre-Fall collection. The result was a fine, fairly straightforward bit of Mulberry-ana, to be filed under the usual category headings of Cute and Pop. The team channeled menswear, picking up traditional English men's styles (Arran knits, houndstooth, paisleys) and giving them a girlish goose. Those paisleys were sequined and appliquéd onto a matching top-and-pant set, the houndstooth writ large onto an oversized coat with drooping lapels (the best examples of which came with button-out leather-and-shearling vests). The knits were the strongest in terms of immediate appeal—including solid Arran entries into the newly hot fisherman's sweater competition, with split seams and turtlenecks—while the scarf-tied pieces came off a little sweet. But as this is a business built on bags, that's where the real news was: in a wider, buckled version of the Bayswater and a two-tone Campden envelope clutch. They ought to keep sales brisk until a new designer is named.
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