People who say that Christmas isn’t about the gifts have obviously never given a really good one. Sure, as we get older, we find that those close to us don’t really want much from us, except our company and good times. But, my god: when you’ve got a doozy in the locker, the merriment really does go up a notch.
Psychologists will tell you that pleasure peaks for holidaymakers about a day before they go away. The anticipation, in short, is more pleasant than the actual event itself. But, for gift-givers, the pleasure comes in unending peaks. The seeking out. The smuggling home. The bow-tying. And, then, the moment of unwrapping – that second when a beam of golden light seems to dazzle somehow upon the recipient's face, and all in the world is sweetness.
Things get even fuzzier when Mulberry’s under the old Nordmann fir (other tree species are available, of course.) The beloved British maker is celebrating the joy, togetherness and unpredictability of the festive season with a series of campaign vignettes directed by Bunny Kinney and starring, among others, model Alek Wek. A glimpse behind-the-scenes on a Christmas advert shoot, it shows that the chaos of the season is sometimes its chief joy: from the baby that’s more interested in getting their hands on a shiny Mulberry bag than smiling for the camera, to the defiant dog-actor that no-one can find on set.
More importantly, Mulberry continues its ongoing support of The Felix Project, a London-based charity that saves surplus food from suppliers and redistributes it to those who need it most. This year, as part of the effort, the luxury British lifestyle brand continues to host fundraising initiatives such as The Mulberry £1 Raffle, which provides the opportunity to win excellent prizes from the company’s range, and The Yuley Digestif, a pop-culture 'big phat quiz of the year’ hosted by Sydney Lima and featuring special guests Joanne McNally, Tiffany Calver, and DJ Fat Tony, tickets for which are still available. Since 2020, over 300,000 meals have been provided for Londoners through Mulberry’s donations.
The good times extend to a new 'Festive Home' capsule, too, which overflows with excellent, bow-worthy gifts. There’s the Travel Backgammon board, for instance, which rolls up beautifully to slip in the coat pocket, and is set in a Mulberry-green calf leather with gorgeous black-and-white tokens. A cream cashmere Hot Water Bottle seems to be the last word in cosy chic, meanwhile a butter-soft sapphire Cashmere Scarf – in such a gorgeous, deep shade of blue – is the sort of gift you end up buying two of: one for them, one for you. (For extra kudos, complimentary monogramming is available across the scarf collection.)
It’s with the portfolio of bags, however, where Mulberry truly continues to excel. For her, consider the Small Lana Top Handle, the ultimate in day-to-night dressing, with its sleek silhouette and structured, upright handle. It also features the label’s new statement hardware, the Foundry Lock – a sort of contemporary, Dalí-esque twist on the beloved Postman's Lock style.
Equally pleasing is the Small Pimlico Satchel in white super lux calf leather. Again, the lock accent makes use of classical, timeless lines – this time a letterbox-style reinterpretation of the Amberley lock. All in all, it’s rather excellent as an everyday cross-body bag, or as a sophisticated clutch.
Then, for extra kudos, perhaps reach for Mulberry’s lovely Bayswater Hoop Earrings, which draw on the iconic Postman Lock for their handsome, sparkling shape.
And, of course, there are the classics. The Small Antony in dark-green and olive, with a combination of heavy-grain leather and suede, is a long-standing Mulberry icon. This is a smaller build than the original, lending plenty of hands-free practicality in a more subtle package, and crafted from the kind of leather that will only grow in beauty and nuance over time.
For the city slicker, make a beeline for the Camberwell Backpack, whose draws are its curved, easygoing body, soft bovine leather, and interior laptop sleeve.
The Heritage Medium Clipper is the weekend bag all weekend bags want to be when they grow up, with that pleasing combination of textured, robust scotchgrain and smooth, contrasting leather trim. Cleverly, this version is made with a scotchgrain crafted from recombined bio-plastic materials, meaning it has eco-credentials along with the same made-to-last, adventure-after-adventure longevity you’d hope for. It is a thing of beauty and heritage, and a Mulberry stalwart. It’s also a reminder, for some of us, at least, that the finest gifts are the ones you give yourself.
Now for the festive drinks. These are the best whiskies to gift this Christmas...
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