Liberty Print on Fabric
Established towards the end of the 19th Century, Liberty Company remains a beacon radiating a sense of modern English style. Engaging in a quest to foster relationships between retailers and English designers, founder Arthur Liberty intended his store to rival the style centers of Paris as well as the upstarts in New York City.
Mr. Liberty kept his designers anonymous in order to promote a cohesive brand sense that became known as “Liberty Style.” Emphasizing upper class whimsy along with the potent influence of Japanese art and prints that was haunting every artistic media from sculpture to Claude Debussy’s music, Liberty Style also became synonymous with the Art Nouveau movement.
Under the careful guidance of renowned architect and Art Nouveau advocate Edward William Godwin, Liberty opened an “Artistic Costume Studio”. Taking up Art Nouveau’s insistence that beautiful design create intersections between architecture, painting, fashion, stained glass and music, Mr. Godwin created a studio through which textile design became one of the premier reference points for English style. Through Liberty Art Fabric, English style gained an international following. While visiting London, Mrs. Andrew Carnegie and Isadora Duncan purchased Liberty dresses. Marcel Proust bought Liberty print neckties from the store’s Parisian outpost.
Today the treasure lies in the Liberty costume studio’s archives. One need only pass through eBay to witness the cult focus placed upon authentic Liberty prints from the 1960s. Liberty makes a point of reissuing classic and archival prints each season alongside new patterns. The prints now extend past upholstery and fine apparel towards wallpaper, accessories and stationary.
Liberty of London has entered into strategic and fruitful partnerships with various American and French companies to encourage the already vast stretch of Liberty style. Such collaborations include work with American retail stores Orvis and J. Crew, the French clothing line “A.P.C.”, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and American mega-store Target.
Where Liberty Art Fabrics and Liberty Prints are available:
Victoria & Albert Museum, in conjunction with the exhibition, “Quilts: 1700-2010”
The Liberty “Target” Limited Edition
Authentic Liberty Art Fabric is available in the United States through Purl Soho
International Fabric Collection
And, of course, the Liberty Department Store
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