2012 February 20
London Fall 2012: Mulberry, Matthew Williamson, Vivienne Westwood Red Label
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"Let the wild rumpus start!" Emma Hill borrowed a page out of Where the Wild Things Are for Mulberry's enchanted Fall collection, referencing Maurice Sendak's twilight creatures in a flurry of fur separates: Mongolian black fur vests and russet-colored pencil skirts, creamy knee-grazing sheepskin coats, and woolly sheath dresses. Lacy frocks, silk slip dresses, zigzag suiting, and tweed bottoms--either cuffed shorties or wide-leg trousers--peeked out beneath mounds of rabbit-trimmed outerwear and quilted gilets. Michelle Williams and Elizabeth Olsen took in the woodsy showing atop goat hair benches at London's Claridges Hotel. So did rapper Azealia Banks, Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery and Lana Del Ray--avec her brand new white Del Ray Mulberry bag which debuted on the runway in mustard snakeskin and shiny blue embossed croc.
Matthew Williamson raised hemlines, and a couple eyebrows, on his 15th anniversary catwalk attended by Olivia Palermo, Tess Daly, and model Jacquetta Wheeler at the Royal Opera House. Sequined digi print minis layered with chiffon overlays and jewel-toned brocade shifts with waist cut-outs segued into t-shirt blouses, turtlenecks and slim trousers in a myriad of colors---think turquoise, gold, and an edgy high-waisted leather bordeaux number. Then came a crop of floor-sweeping gowns, splashed with poppy prints in tangerine and aqua, to close the (mostly) warm weather assortment. The wintry standout: a seventies-inspired fox fur patchwork coat, worn with skin-tight gold pants and a navy organza tee.
Vivienne Westwood Red Label
After seasons of rebellious inspirations injected with a hearty dose of punky punch (Leonard Peltier, anyone?), there was only one thing left on the docket to surprise unsuspecting eds at Vivienne Westwood Red Label: paired-down simplicity sans frills, frizzy hair, and controversial what-not. And that's exactly what the grand dame served up this weekend during her intimate runway show. Wild and wacky were replaced with quintessentially British offerings--tomboyish tweed suiting and dressy print-on-print mashups--beside Westwood's seasonal calling cards like draped silk jersey dresses and pleated tartan uniforms. Loyal Westwood fans need not worry, however. Fake ink, drawn willy-nilly on models' leggy stems, and screen print war and peace t-shirts winked at the Westwood we worship.