|Image courtesy of Liberty.co.uk|
======The Iconic Brand======
He wanted to provide a unique shopping experience and he accomplished this with the opening of the Regent Street store in West End London in 1875. Then as the years went by and Libertys' success grew, he acquired neighbouring buildings to house bigger collections and new departments.
======The Iconic Store======
"The Tudor revival building was built so that trading could continue while renovations were being completed on the other premises and in 1924 this store was constructed from the timbers of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. The frontage on Great Marlborough Street is the same length as the Hindustan. It is a Grade II* listed building.
The emporium was designed by Edwin Thomas Hall and his son Edwin Stanley Hall. They designed the building at the height of the 1920s fashion for Tudor revival. The shop was engineered around three light wells that formed the main focus of the building. Each of these wells was surrounded by smaller rooms to create a homely feel. Many of the rooms had fireplaces and some still exist."
Taken from Wikipedia (Liberty Department Store)
Unfortunately, Arthur Liberty died seven years before his store was finally finished. But thankfully his hard work and vision was continued to this day. And I would think that he would be very proud of what his successors have accomplished over the years.
I hope to visit one day and see for myself, but for now I live vicariously through gorgeous photos like these by Alicia in London-Land:
As you can see from the photos, the Liberty of London store is a shoppers dream - and my husbands worst nightmare! I know mum and I would be in heaven! For days!!
Unfortunately not all of us can pop in for a cup of tea and bucket load of fabric. So the website (www.liberty.co.uk) is our window to the world of Liberty. It is jam-packed with products and information. Check out any of the links above to see what's available online. And I can't forget to mention the Liberty Magazine and the Liberty Blog.
My favourite read is the Liberty Craft Blog - a lesser (but equally fabulous) part of the Liberty Blog. It features crafters around the globe that are making beautiful things using Liberty London fabrics. We get to 'meet' them and be inspired by their creative handiwork.
======The Iconic Fabric======
Crafters worldwide literally gush over Liberty London fabric. I know because I'm one of them. My favourite is the Cotton Tana Lawn, named after Lake Tana in Sudan where some of the earliest yarn originated. It has a very fine weave, which allows for the intricate detailing that Liberty Art Fabric prints are famous for.
Take these for example:
It's an incredible process involved in printing Liberty Art Fabrics. If you're interested in learning more, there are two great videos that I highly recommend you check out. The first is the Behind The Scenes in the Liberty Art Fabrics Design Studio video, which includes meeting the design team and learning what inspired them in creating the Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection. And the second is the Behind The Scenes: Printing on Cotton Tana Lawn video. This is a fascinating look at the process involved in preparing and printing the Tana Lawn at Libertys' Lancaster Factory. Both videos are definitely worth a look!
I feel really inspired now!