The 140 years of Liberty shown at anniversary exhibition
Liberty’s, the leading department store of Britain dealing with design and decorative arts, turns 140 today, and besides the usual in-shop promotions shoppers would expect, the company celebrates with a comprehensive exhibition summarising their past. Set out in collaboration with and at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London, the venue is an obvious choice for a company whose biggest strength lies in fabrics and clothing.
Arthur Lasenby Liberty founded the shop in 1875, selling coloured silk exclusively. The line was soon expanded with more luxury items like cashmere garments, lacquerware, and, in line with the decadent and exoctic taste of the age, oriental goods and furniture. Though selling everything from home accessories to perfumery, as dreamt up by leading designers and aesthetes, Liberty’s flagship remained the textile selection. The clothing department opened in 1884, and saw collaborations with not only textile printers but artists and fashion designers as well.
The exhibition showcases classic prints from the 20s and 30s, probably the peak decades of the Liberty style, as well as the iconic op-art designs by Mary Quant in the 60s or pieces by Yves Saint Laurent. Although today Liberty seems less in vogue than its trendier competitors, its distinctive vintage charm will never go out of fashion. In fact, the house’s success lies in that along keeping up with the ever-changing trends, it managed to keep its well-recognisable identity throughout decades - and almost centuries. Which most certainly keeps today's freshest creatives still amazed, as heritage Liberty patterns appear in Vivienne Westwood’s collections or on Nike sneakers, and now at the Liberty in Fashion exhibition until 28 February 2016.
Source: Creative Review
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