Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Liberty Faire!

I love London, for a variety of reasons and one of the main reasons is Liberty and Co. Forget Harrods (tourists only please and oh so de trop), Selfridges if I must, and Harvey Nicholls only at pinch, for none compare to Liberty’s. Always known for their tradition for fashionable and eclectic design, Liberty is the place to go for new upcoming designers that often reflect their passion for handcrafted work with savoir faire.

First incorporated in 1875 selling ornaments, fabric and objets d'art from Japan and the East, the store quickly expanded in to a fashionable stop for all things luxurious and exotic. Their clientele were equally exotic and included many members and admirers of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

Housed in a magnificent Tudor building just off Regent Street the store has now become an icon of savoir Faire. Timbers from the HMAS Impregnable and HMAS Hindustan were used extensively in its construction.

Strong relationships were fostered with leading designers of the day especially within the Arts and Craft and Art Nouveau movements to create designs which are un mistakenly English and products with an exotic edge, which still continues to this day.
Liberty fabrics are instantly recognisable as such and have been highly copied and used by leading designers of their times such as Poiret, Saint Laurent, Cacharel, Jean Muir and Hermes.

*Hermes for Liberty Scarves
The designs relying heavily on arts and crafts and at noveau motifs are luxurious in their approach. Designs are continuously updated to reflect current moods and trends. Paisley, peacock feathers and floral patterns run riot across fabrics with abandon.

The furniture department is filled with modern day classics form the utilitarian to the cutting edge, stocking well known design classics to the avant garde.

The character of products carried by Liberty change very little compared to other major retailers. There is always a strong emphasis on good distinctive design maintaining an aura of exclusivity. The major goal in products carried and designed is to set trends while remaining true to the sensibility of founder Arthur Lazenby Liberty, while remaining cutting edge.

I was very surprised when I had read about the Liberty collaboration with Target, and think it was all done very well, without any design compromises being made to the design aesthetic.

So next time you are in London lose yourself in the Savoir Faire that is Liberty.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. beautiful post!!
    i loooove liberty style!!
    greetings from spain

  3. I love a good peek around Libs! Thanks for your lovely comments over the past few days, David.

  4. I fly to London in october!!!

    Great post!

  5. Bicocaclors, Many thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you liked the post.

    Will, Make sure you pick up something for me! And a big thanks to you too! It is a pleasure.

    Joe, make sure you go to Libertys! Enjoy your trip, I am so jealous!

  6. I was only into Liberty once, more than 20 years ago, but I still remember it well. It has such an individual, and very British character. It has the feel of a real emporium...somewhere that was well stocked with things from throughout the empire. But it wasn't cheap!

    The store looks a bit like Ridpath's in Toronto, no? I like the way they keep the orginal concept unlike the conglomerate boutiques around the world that all conform. I mean, don't all the Guerlains, Guccis, Chanels all conform to the same, minimalist, sleek aesthetic? It is beautiful but now so predictable.

    I love stores like Liberty that don't change for the sake of change. Those fine Egyptian cotton Liberty floral prints are superb for summer, and nothing compares to the quality and classic look.

    Enjoyed the article. Thank you.

  7. SWF, yes it is a bit like Ridpaths with the mock Tudor style. Yes, it is nice to see the original concept kept, which is out of today's modern design concept. The Guccis, Chanles etc are all virtually the same with nothing really to tell you (except for a logo or two) which tells you where you are.


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