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Mulberry Pre-Fall 2014: Without a Leader, But Not Directionless

While Mulberry has still yet to name a creative director in lieu of Emma Hill's departure, the show must go on. There's plenty of the label's signature British whimsy here, plus perhaps a few changes?

While Mulberry has yet to name a creative director in lieu of Emma Hill's departure, the show must go on. Well, sort of. For Pre-Fall 2014, the in-house designers whipped up a collection that had plenty of the signature British whimsy we've come to expect from the label. While such times of transition are never groundbreaking (best not to rock the boat too much before someone new signs on and just screams, "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"), there's still plenty to like about this menswear-inspired lineup, along with what appear to be some changes. Here are some deep thoughts below.

Those exaggerated pussy-bow neck ties are so deliciously louche. Some may find them cloying, but these are like ascots on Viviscal! So over-the-top and sophisticated, as long as you don't tie them Minnie Mouse-style. Just let them cascade at will.

Do my eyes deceive or are things looking a little more conceptual? Could just be me, but a few pieces appear to be a little more intellectually charged than the fun and games of yore. Take the black long-sleeve dress with an aforementioned neck-tie -- which is tucked and styled extra artily (above, far right). It would be right at home in a the closet of a "thinking fashion woman," say, a member of tribe Céline. Similarly, a gray sheath dress (above, second from left) has a sculpted overlay in the form of a bustier halter. Innnteresting.

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Did Mulberry just crack the code on making a puffer coat chic? The gray flannel is just so polished.

That paisley number has Alexa Chung's name all over it. Actually, its got paisleys everywhere -- hand-embellished, jeweled paisleys at that (above, middle). But (former?) Mulberry muse and fan Chung loves a good girlification of a menswear print. She also seems to like it when daytime things -- a T-shirt and simple trousers -- get the evening treatment. All this look needs is a pair of patent loafers and she's out the door.

What a fantastic fisherman's sweater. That is all. Photos: Courtesy