Markus Lupfer is another one of these great London-based designers poised to break into the American market in a big way. His fun, knitwear-heavy line is sold in several stores in the UK, Shopbop, Net-a-porter, Opening Ceremony, and has just been picked up by Neiman Marcus and Barneys—perhaps two of the most important retail doors this side of the Atlantic Ocean. He has done collaborations with Cacharel and Mulberry and found fans in girls like Daisy Lowe, Lily Allen, Alexa Chung and Florence Welch.
The latter actually starred in Markus’ latest project, a short film directed by Tabitha Denholm, in which Welch, Irina Lazareanu, Sadie Frost, Mary Charteris, Valentine Fillol-Cordier, Margo Stilley, Jan DeVilleneuve, Liddie Holt and Gary Card, play characters with bizarre afflictions and personality disorders. Called The Puzzle of the Mysterious Mind, the humorous, tongue-in-cheek film is meant to have the feel of a ‘60s mockumentary. Florence, for example, plays an extreme clothes hoarder while Irina is globophobic, meaning she has a fear of balloons. Each character is dressed to the nines in Markus Lupfer resort, which we got to see up close at Monday night’s screening event at the Mondrian Soho penthouse. There are many of his signature knits with fun stripes and colorful sequined embroidery, like trompe l’oeil belts and red-lipped mouths, plus a few great mini dresses.
Lupfer told us he had several reasons for showing his collection through film. “I just thought it’s something different, it’s fun, also you can show what your brand is all about.” Another advantage? Worldwide accessibility. “You don’t need to be in one city, and I think with the internet, you can make it global quite fast and that’s what I like about it.” Apparently, the chic cast was an easy find. “I think it’s like friends, some of my friends, some of tabitha’s friends, people who love what we do, love the brand. We try to keep the cast really versatile, younger, older, more famous, less famous, a nice balance.”
Lupfer was anxious to bring the film and collection to New York, where he’s excited to be building his retail presence. “Its really cool, I’m so excited, we just got Neiman Marcus which is very good and Barneys which is great so we’re building up the American market.” As far New York style being different from London, Markus feels it all relates to weather. “I don’t think it’s that much different when I came here. The only difference was it’s much hotter. In London there’s always something cool, but here you dress slightly lighter and more sexy.”
Markus’ Spring 2012 collection, he tells us, is inspired by Greek beaches. “It’s a continuation from here. The colors are a bit lighter, so more pastel-ish colors. It’s gonna be like a mint color, like a light pink and a blue mixed with white, grey, black. We’re keeping the shapes, keeping the knitwear into the next level and we’ll do a shark embellishment, a crocodile, so a little bit beachy feel to it.” It all sounds very cute. See below for the full video and a few behind-the-scenes shots of Florence and friends for a better look at the clothes.