Market Watch: Mulberry

Mulberry fox print string bikini

It could have been the rare dose of British sunshine talking, but, for me, the highlight of Mulberry's showroom offerings in London was a teensy white string bikini emblazoned with Fall's ubiquitous fox print. Had it not been encased under glass I might have stashed the quirky-meets-sexy number in my bag and spent the rest of the day sunbathing in Hyde Park, or, better yet, modeling it at the Coachella pool party the label is throwing this weekend.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. This is Fall/Winter 2011 we're talking about, and it's cozy knits, autumnal hues, and glammed-up outerwear that women will be yearning for. Inspired by the English countryside and all its rugged yet whimsical charms, Mulberry's latest collection delivers the goods with a rich palette featuring bursts of kelly green and plum, sleek hardware accents, and a selection of prints (feathers, peace signs, birds, squirrels) that should look campy but instead come off as lovely and even luxurious.  

Denim shirts with hardware details, feather-printed scarves, and a silk jacquard woven dress subtly stamped with the afore-mentioned "Peace & Love" print caught my eye, but it was the gorgeously accordian-pleated maxi dresses (sayonara, ankles!), buttery-soft laser-cut leather shorts with scalloped edging, and flower-embellished skirts and dresses (surprisingly thick, but set to be slimmed down by the time they hit stores) that begged to be lovingly stroked. A little privacy, please?

Bag-wise, Mulberry is hoping that the revamped Tillie will be this year's Alexa, and, indeed, the addition of bright foxglove pink and other autumnal hues, suede, and quilted and meshed leather iterations should do the trick. There's also the Pollie Push Lock, an envelope-flap bag with plenty of appeal.

The Tillie is also putting its stamp on shoes. The bag's signature hardware has been added to a fetching line of wooden wedge-heeled booties and knee-highs in a notice-me waders green.

Fueled by a toadstool cupcake, Katie Grand sighting, and the garden-glam wares, I merrily dashed back out into the sun. But mark my words—I'll be back for the bikini.

Photo: Mulberry's fox print string bikini