Where the Wild Things Are
London After-Parties for Mulberry and Vivienne Westwood
There were beauties and beasts at Mulberry yesterday, not to mention some very clever party planning. Having organized their post-show soirée at the Savile Club just a few doors down from Claridge's, site of the label's runway show, creative director Emma Hill and co. cannily repurposed the morning's stage dressings, placing bunches of padlock-shaped gold balloons in various nooks and throwing hairy goatskins (a nod to the Fall collection's Where the Wild Things Are vibe) over leather couches.
Mulberry's takeover gave the likes of Michelle Williams and Elizabeth Olsen a reason to party at a place where the fairer sex is only allowed in after six. During her team's initial walk-through, Hill recalled, "we were probably the youngest people by about 40 years." (One member interpreted Hill's workaday outfit of tights and denim to mean she was a gymnast.) Then again, this is the first time the brand has put its show on the official London fashion week calendar—maybe, in a way, Mulberry is ready to join the establishment.
Alexa Chung lingered at the raw bar downstairs as guests were summoned up to dinner, declaring the oyster shucker's chain-mail glove "a good look." Michelle Dockery, somehow looking even more luminous than she does on Downton Abbey, stumbled on the grand staircase as a photographer's flash went off. "Delete that," she half-joked. Happily, Lana Del Rey made no missteps during her after-dinner concert. Hill, recalling the time the trending songstress (and namesake of Mulberry's latest bag) performed for the brand in Los Angeles, enumerated what might be Del Rey's most impressive trait: "the ability to silence 40 editors." This time, too, you could have heard a pin drop the moment she took the stage.
The opposite was the case over at Vivienne Westwood's after-party at The Box, where you couldn't make out anything Damien Hirst was saying to his host, Francesca Hammerstein, even if the two of them were sitting right next to you. Florence Welch cheered exuberantly for the club's hopped-up burlesque—a slightly more conservative version, it should be noted, than in New York—from her table near the stage. In the back, meanwhile, Westwood shook her head in disbelief as two young gentlemen performed extraordinary feats of strength and balance in their underwear. Wild things, indeed.