It’s been a year since Mulberry parted ways with Emma Hill, its game-changing former creative director. On the surface of things, the brand chugs merrily along—there’s a Cara Delevingne collection of bags now, an It-girl evolution from the iconic Alexa satchel—but the presentation at Mulberry HQ today served as a strong signal of the brand’s scaled-down ambitions. The shoes and bags lining the walls were the real story, while the new apparel, displayed on mannequins, was as safe as could be. The theme was English gardens, with a particular emphasis on delphinium, cornflower, and cow parsley, which inspired the prints and the seriously luxe jacquards. The pieces made of cornflower blue towel jacquard were memorable for their texture, but the overall effect was still prim. Elsewhere, the very fine Swiss-lace looks, like a halter dress in white, stood out for their prettiness. The treacle was cut, somewhat, by more utilitarian garments—polished anoraks, military-inspired blouses, a Lurex tracksuit. All very commercial-seeming, and yet, as one retailer wandering the premises commented, the Mulberry prices are exceedingly high. Will anyone buy?

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