Spring Summer ‘18 Collection
Archetypes of Englishness inspire the Mulberry Spring Summer ’18 collection - Edwardiana, Ascot Ladies’ Day, garden parties, the great tradition of tea in fine bone china. Pastimes from another time, to inspire a collection for the present.
“It’s about British culture, English culture,” says Mulberry Creative Director Johnny Coca. “I’ve visited houses in England with walls of antique porcelain objects. They represent a heritage, something that you can pass down, and something for the next generation to make their own.”
Born in Somerset - Manufacturing with the British touch
Mulberry is the largest manufacturer of leather goods in the United Kingdom. Established in Somerset in 1971, British craft forms the heartbeat of the brand, while the support and nurture of British craftspeople is Mulberry’s passion.
Originally a family business, the idea of community - like a family - is vital to Mulberry’s modern identity. The true home of Mulberry is its 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.
With over 120 stores worldwide alongside its digital flagship, Mulberry is a truly global company. But through its heritage,craftspeople and inspirations, Mulberry’s soul will always be British.
Mulberry’s ready-to-wear is a fusion of the old-school heritage and tradition of British craftsmanship, with the dynamic cool of today - epitomised by the contrast between Mulberry’s historical base in Somerset, and its home in London. Dominated by English and Scottish fabrics, steeped in references drawn from the nation’s culture, Creative Director Johnny Coca’s outlook for the twenty-first century Mulberry is quintessentially and uniquely British, combining the best of the old with the thrill of the new.
For Spring Summer ‘18, Key patterns are drawn from the painted florals that adorn English china services, and the classic multi-coloured stripes of seaside deckchairs in a colour palette of faded blush, antique blue, dusty yellow and a vibrant field green. Two seemingly contradictory prints - bold geometrics and extravagant foliage - join forces under the umbrella of Mulberry’s signature take on English eccentricity.
These prints are paired with contemporary shapes - eased tailoring with narrow jackets and softly flared trousers, and wide-cut dresses collaged with elements taken from the turn of the century, such as frills and organza fabrics. There is a play with scale, with volume and with decoration. Dresses in prints and sequin embroideries are cut square to drape around the body, a reference to the sinus drapes of the 1920s and 1930s. Ruffle-sleeved blouses are combined with brief pair of shorts, and flared trousers in satin are worn with body-conscious ribbed maillot-style tops, a nod to vintage swimwear. Ruffles and pleats appear throughout as decorative motifs, adding structure, volume, movement and graphic texture to silhouettes.
Mulberry is the largest manufacturer of leather goods in the United Kingdom. A love of and a respect for the craft of making and manufacturing leather accessories has been the foundation of Mulberry’s identity since 1971. Today the expertise of Mulberry in leather working is respected globally thanks to 600 dedicated staff located at Mulberry’s two production facilities in Somerset.
The Spring Summer ‘18 collection bags represent the next generation of Mulberry styles. Accessories borrow from ready-to-wear, gently edged with the collection’s gathers and frills – the Small Amberley Satchel is presented with a ruffled trim. The palette is soft, feminine, ballerina shades of bone and pale porcelain blue combined with rich and contrasting core colours like oxblood. Stripe motifs are painstakingly inlaid, like the parquet floor of a manor house, a reflection of Mulberry’s dedication to leather craft. The Rider’s Lock, reminiscent of a horse’s bit and bridle, is the key fastening - a new signature hardware debuted on the Autumn Winter ‘17 Amberley. Here, it emerges on a range of new season styles: Seaton, Marloes and Gracy.
A natural evolution for a fashion and lifestyle brand whose excellence in leather working is second-to-none, Mulberry’s Creative Director Johnny Coca’s footwear designs couple together the craftsmanship of Britain and Italy, to create finely-wrought and desirable product for the knowing modern consumer. A Mulberry shoe combines the label’s reputation for longevity and quality, with a cutting-edge fashion identity.
For Spring Summer ‘18, low heels, fluted and rounded like china vases, offer another take on contradictions of strength and fragility. The shoe and boot styles are in soft nappa, with the ease of a ballet slipper in a rounded snub-toe, often a ruffled edging and an ankle strap. Other styles have furry trims, like boudoir slippers requisitioned for daily use.
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.
For Spring Summer ‘18, jewellery migrates to bags, with bijoux faces - like found assemblages of heirloom jewels - decorating the Lynton sac styles, while other styles feature oversized acetate chains like re-proportioned necklaces. Brooches become oversized earrings with waterfalls of stones, enamelled decorations may adorn belts, and earrings are like tiny chandeliers pulled from a doll’s house, in sparkling gems and matte pearl finishes. These are pieces to be both worn, and treasured.
Coca’s love for English classics, history and figures also incarnates in extravagant and witty millinery, created by Noel Stewart. Reminiscent of Ladies Day at Ascot, as immortalised in My Fair Lady and costumed by Sir Cecil Beaton, the hats are created from drapes of the collection’s bold prints, twisted into turbans and wide, Edwardiana ‘Merry Widow’ styles. They are a final flourish on the silhouettes, a gesture from the past reworked for today.