Taking a close-up look at the Mulberry AW17 collection.
I visited the Mulberry AW17 press day this week, and it was all kinds of dreamy as you can imagine.
Creative Director ‘Jonny Coca’ has taken the history and culture of Great Britain and mixed it with a sense of now to create a new point of view on heritage.
“It’s about making something traditional feel new,” says Coca.“Taking these archetypal British styles, and making them feel right for today.”
In the 1970s, Mulberry’s earliest inspirations came from styles synonymous with English equestrian and country pursuits – it was dubbed “Le Style Anglais.” For Autumn Winter ‘17, “Le Style Anglais” is updated, mixing the aristocratic with the urban, the countryside with the town.“It’s like cooking,”says Johnny Coca.“How to take all these different ingredients, and make a new recipe.”
Mulberry is the largest manufacturer of leather goods in the United Kingdom. With two British factories, where 600 specialist craftsmen and women work alongside Mulberry’s creative team, led by Johnny Coca, to create a new incarnation of contemporary style.
The arrival of Creative Director Johnny Coca at Mulberry has brought new challenges and techniques, in a dynamic collaboration between Mulberry’s design team in London and the production and manufacturing of the craftspeople of Somerset. This too is a strong story, of British heritage combined with rebellious London cool. The Autumn Winter ‘17 Accessories echo the vintage feel, showcasing the expertise of Mulberry’s Somerset-based craftsmen and craftswomen. The collection’s signature quilting and bijoux charms adorn supple styles, along with knotted silk foulards and dressage rosette tags inspired by the collection’s equestrian theme. There are also subtle references to saddlery in top-stitching and intricate leatherwork.
Mulberry’s own accessory heritage is the chief reference- point; geometric braided leather straps and tags are a modern interpretation of the plaited leather belts produced by founder Roger Saul in 1971, while Johnny Coca’s reiteration of the classic Bayswater updates the style with quilted detailing. New handbags reference antique luggage, their structure reminiscent of hat-boxes and trunks; others are soft and pliant, easily folded as if softened over time. The Amberley, a sturdy top-handle style, exemplifies Mulberry’s ethos of items that are beautifully made, and made to last. It can be handed down through the family – like all Mulberry pieces. It can become a new heirloom for tomorrow.
What’s SO great about this story is that I am living proof of this. I have a Mulberry belt that my mother has given (or lent) to me which is somewhere around 35 years old. My Mum was a fashion designer in the 80’s and before that a shop owner who bought in brands for her own store in Manchester, and Mulberry was one of the brands she sold. She thinks she was probably one of their first customers and she’s got lots of old and new pieces to this day. It’s amazing to come full circle and obviously I suppose in some way I was bound to end up in fashion… I was always excited by it as a child.
So lets take a look:
These are the Regent Pin Loafer, and I love their awkward beauty. There’s something about their chunky silhouette which makes them clumsy but in an utterly beautiful way.
These mesh / leather mixed knee highs are something of a dream to me. If you look at my outfit posts I love mesh and combining opaque and transparent materials. It gives you so many options to layer further which I love. I also love a knee high because I can totally wear a baggy teeshirt or hoody with them and still be dressed up.
These are the Dazzle Jewel Sandal (below) and aren’t they a dream? The perfect dancing shoes for a birthday or fashion week party.
Each season, Creative Director Johnny Coca designs a range of jewellery to underscore the themes of the Mulberry runway collections. It adds a new strand to the Mulberry lifestyle universe: inspired by the natural world, by heirloom gems and by jewellery- making traditions and techniques, the pieces are updated every season with the dynamic energy of Mulberry’s contemporary incarnation.
This season the ‘Portrait’ pieces stand out as heirloom like trinkets with a modern twist.
The below bag is called the ‘Brimley’ and I’m a fan for two reasons; they have managed to combine vintage design and modern appeal so well. And two because they are big enough but not too big and have a cross body handle as well as a clutch handle. So they are the perfect day to evening bag.
Well that’s my round up -I hope you enjoyed it. Obviously head to MULBERRY for more.