A few weeks back I headed to the Liberty in Fashion exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum. This was a must see exhibition for me – although I still almost missed it only squeezing in a visit in the final two weeks (it has now sadly finished)! It was also my first visit to the Fashion and Textile Museum which is a wonderful hidden gem in the London Bridge area – they have multiple exhibitions across the year and also run a brilliant programme of workshops and events so I’m sure I’ll be visiting again soon.
Liberty in Fashion guided us through the history of Liberty: the man, the brand, the dresses, with a huge array of beautiful fashion pieces capturing the evolving liberty designs of the past, and really interestingly, how those designs fitted into the wider world of fashion. This was not a straightforward collection of the dainty floral prints that are often my go-to image of liberty design but an amazingly vast selection of the many faces of Liberty – including collaborations (Vivienne Westwood, Nike) and their role in developing new styles and reviving traditional craft techniques such as smocking.
“I was determined not to follow existing fashion but to create new ones.” Arthur Lasenby Liberty
What has always enchanted me about liberty is the exceptional detail in pattern design. I have my favourites: I love their classic feminine florals but I was completely enchanted by the oriental influenced designs in this exhibition. I also loved that there were some contemporary pieces fresh from current designers in there. Every design demands a second glance as your eye moves into the intricacy of pattern and colour.
Here are some of my highlights: