“Liberty in Fashion” at Fashion and Textile Museum, London

The 140th anniversary of the iconic store is celebrated in London with an exhibition that shows the store’s distinctive textile prints and creations!

The exhibition “Liberty in Fashion”, held until the 28th of February 2016 at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, is the first major Liberty retrospective of the 21st century, featuring more than 150 of the store’s ensemble and accessories.

Art Nouveau fashion using the Liberty print ‘Constantia’, 1961 – traditional prints were reinterpreted by a new generation of fashion designers.  Photograph: © Liberty London

Art Nouveau fashion using the Liberty print ‘Constantia’, 1961 – traditional prints were reinterpreted by a new generation of fashion designers. Photograph: © Liberty London.

The Liberty store, which can claim collaborations with William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was founded in 1875 by Albert Liberty, and used to sell silks, cottons and fine wools imported from China, Japan and India. Its unique printed fabrics were also used by designers Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood in their collections, and the enduring relationship between Liberty and fashion designers also brought to collaborations with high profile brands like Nike.

A feather-patterned Liberty fabric. Photograph: © Copyright of Liberty Fabric Limited

A feather-patterned Liberty fabric. Photograph: © Copyright of Liberty Fabric Limited.

In addition to the results of these collaborations, the exhibition also displays a wide selection of the store’s historic creations, including a cape from the 1890s constructed from Chinese shawls, a Paul Poiret silk robe from the 1930s and a late 1960s Macedonia print dress. Most of the pieces lent to the exhibition come from the famous Butterfields’ collection, which recently dressed also Eddie Redmayne for the 2016 film “The Danish Girl”.

To learn more about the exhibition, please visit the Fashion and Textile Museum. Browse also Europeana Fashion archive to find more creations by Liberty!

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