By Piya Sinha-Roy
LONDON (Reuters) - British brand Mulberry, a staple of London Fashion Week with its trademark bags, also offered up a collection of sorbet-colored, floral-inspired outfits for spring/summer 2013 on Tuesday.
The collection saw Mulberry go back to its roots, taking inspiration from the rich florals of the English countryside, displaying clothes in delicate shades of peach, mint, and cream, embellished with detailed floral motifs.
Creative director Emma Hill revamped a 1970s silhouette using flowing dresses with low backs and tailored jackets, but introduced a sexy edge with bonded leather. A poodle dog joined the models walking down the runway to lend a vibe of strolling through rural England.
Outerwear was inspired by English country heritage, with models in military peacoats and boxy biker jackets over evening dresses in tan and black leather. Navy prints and jacquard textures, added a twist of whimsy that the brand has become known for.
As always, all eyes were on the accessories as Mulberry debuted its Willow collection of bags and clutches, centered around a tote bag with floral prints and detailed petals added to the postman lock that has become a Mulberry signature.
Classic Mulberry bag collections were also given their own spring/summer 2013 editions, adding a floral motif on leather for the Del Rey named for singer Lana and on artisan woven silk jacquard for the Alexa (socialite Alexa Chung). Both namesakes were on the front row.
The star-studded front row also included supermodel Kate Moss, "Downton Abbey" stars and Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.
"It's a great British brand. It's timeless pieces that just go with everything. There's such a variety of colours and styles, it's a brand that I just really love," Ennis told Reuters.
The show was held at London's Claridges Ballroom, which had been transformed into an English country garden, with pastel-colored garden gnomes and wheelbarrows dotted around, accompanied by lush floral hangings. Guests were treated to slices of angel cake and fruit juices.
"It was really cheerful but subtle, it felt like spring but in a quirky, original way," "Downton Abbey" actress Elizabeth McGovern told Reuters after the show, adding that designer Hill brought a "fabulous sense of pattern and cut" to the brand.
(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy, additional reporting from Joanne Nicholson, editing by Paul Casciato)