Mulberry showcases quirky, '70s-inspired catwalk

Associated Press Modified: September 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm •  Published: September 18, 2012
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LONDON (AP) — British luxury brand Mulberry has ditched most of the playfulness in its recent seasons, showcasing a spring collection that's still quirky but definitely grown-up.

Mulberry's show on Tuesday, at London's swanky Claridge's hotel, was decorated with dozens of garden gnomes and fake geckos crawling on rose bushes — a typically wacky atmosphere of pretty English garden meets exotic creatures.

But appearances were deceptive — and the clothes themselves were more sophisticated than the setting suggested.

Creative director Emma Hill sent models down the catwalk in oversized leather biker jackets and mannish tuxedos in navy, black and white. The 1970s-inspired collection had floral embroidery, floor-length skirts, flower buttons and high-waisted wide legs, updated with metallic jacquard printed with mini-flowers and geckos.

Leather separates and trouser suits balanced flirty pleated skirts. There were muted brown ensembles along with head-to-toe sweet pastels in mint and peach — including pastel-colored shoes and handbags, the brand's bestselling item.

Hill's latest show was a much less whimsical affair than recent seasons but a few quirky touches remained. Some models led poodles in matching dog costumes on leashes down the catwalk, and Monty Python's famous song "Always look on the bright side of life" blared during the finale.

The display drew model Kate Moss and singer Lana Del Rey to its front row.