The fashion and music worlds united last Tuesday at the penthouse of Milk Studios, with a Mulberry sponsored kickoff for the Glastonbury music festival's 40th anniversary in Somerset, England. While the 4 day concert has played host to an impressive roster of legendary performers - from David Bowie and Pink Floyd to Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse - the eclectic group of festival goers often attract as much attention as the headliners themselves. Hence the inspiration for fashion photographer - and Somerset native - Venetia Dearden's new book, Glastonbury: Another Stage ($50, www.mulberry.com).
The photo retrospective features over 300 snapshots of Glasto goers over a five year span, and as Dearden explained, she "wasn't attracted to the fashion glamour," per se, but rather, how the festival itself influences the sartorial choices of those who attend. To put it another way, in "Glastonbury world," there are no fashion rules. The portraits feature people sporting everything from tutus, wedding gowns, face paint, and, of course Wellies (Glasto's motto is "peace, love, and mud"). My favorite of the portraits? One of a lady who sported the classic hunter green version of the boot, with (what were presumably) her initials bedazzled ever so discreetly just above the rubber sole.
And just in case the portraits were not enough to set the mood, Mulberry and Milk went the extra mile to capture the essence of the festival. Waiters sported Wellies and T-shirts with the Glasto slogan, and the Milk penthouse was complete with Glastonbury-esque touches like tents and bales of hay. Celebrities and fashion fixtures the likes of Michelle Trachtenberg, Mamie Gummer, Chanel Iman, and Agyness Deyn, and fashion editors Faran Krentcil and Andrew Bevan were all on hand for live performances by Chairlift and Kelis (yes, she sang "Milkshake").
Speaking of "beverages," there may not have been any milkshakes, but the selection of "Glasto-inspired" cocktails was impressive indeed - high praise coming from a white wine devotee. While the Mulberry bellinis and Doc's cider briefly tempted me, I ultimately decided on "The Glastonbury," a yummy and comforting mixture of Grey Goose, apple cider, and fresh powdered clove. Basically, it was just a really good apple cider, which became even better once washed down with some beef sliders smothered in Somerset cheddar. Again, talk about going the extra mile with the authenticity!
Just about the only Glastonbury touch that could not be imported for the bash was - for better or worse - the mud. But for those who really want to get down and dirty, fret not. The festival is less than a month away, and on the 26th of June, Mulberry will host a party at Glastonbury in the Sony space "Cocktails and Dreams." For those who remain city-bound and missed the Milk/Mulberry bash, the portraits will be on display at both the Madison Ave and Bleecker flagships until June 23rd. So get your taste of Glastonbury world while you can, in whatever dosage you prefer.