Saturday saw the 9th Liberty Open Call. A brilliant array of new designers, creatives and entrepreneurs came along with their innovative new designs and wares to show our expert and experienced panel of judges. We chatted to some of the movers and shakers on the day.
On Saturday, Liberty opened its doors once again to the best of British design. A fantastic turnout ensured our buyers were kept busy, viewing everything from cushions to fashion to Liberty print dog accessories.
We chatted to a handful of the talented people who came along.
Grain & Knot
A simple concept with a delightful story: spoon-carver Sophie makes beautiful utensils out of foraged or discarded wood, turning a waste product into inspired kitchenware.
‘I did a spoon carving course and loved it, so went out the next day and bought an axe!’
Baker & Bray
This London-based design duo hand make bandanas, collars and leads for stylish canines. Baker & Bray brought two collections along, one of which featured Liberty print (modelled by Milo).
Proud to champion British design, the brand uses UK fabrics as much as possible, creating practical yet covetable accessories that are insulated to keep your pup warm.
Scott Taylor Designs
When she’s not working in our Beauty hall, designer Olivia re-designs chairs with her Buckinghamshire-based family.
‘It’s our take on the classic British school chair which was in use from the 1930s through to the late 1960s.’
Hand-finished and re-designed with an artistic twist, Olivia’s chairs certainly came in handy during the long wait in the Best of British queue.
Run by the brains behind established brands ‘Constant and True’ and ‘Ibiza Rocks’, True Rocks looks set to be a winner in the Liberty jewellery hall. Featuring delicate pieces packed with personality, each piece has a story. Think a Rich Tea biscuit necklace designed in collaboration with artist Gavin Turk, alongside rock ‘n’ roll inspired pill pendants.
Designers Emily and Dawn call it: ‘Jewellery with attitude, wear it with confidence’.
Did you come along to the Liberty Open Call last week? What did you bring and what did you see that you loved? Let us know on Twitter, @LibertyLondon #BestOfBritish
Puerto Rican-rooted New Yorker Venessa Arizaga talks us through her life as a creative and what inspires her designer jewellery collections.
Venessa Arizaga burst onto the jewellery scene in 2010 with a collection of playful, fashion-conscious pieces that played on her Puerto Rican roots as much as her home town of New York. A favourite in the Liberty jewellery hall, Venessa Arizaga bracelets and necklaces are the perfect contemporary twists for your jewellery stack. As her autumn/ winter 2014 collection hits Liberty.co.uk, we caught up with the designer to get a sneaky peek behind the scenes of this irrepressible label.
What part of New York influences your designs? How is this contrasted with Puerto Rican culture?
What hugely influences my designs are the cool girls I see in the city. I’ve always been inspired by people who just go out there and have fun with fashion. It inspires me to make pieces that they would want to wear. That eccentricity, combined with the laid-back ‘island girl’ lifestyle influenced by my Puerto-Rican roots is one of the main essences of the pieces I design.
Other than these two places, where do you find inspiration for new designs and witty motifs?
I find inspiration in everything – from fabrics, to music, and tons of research. I love going to libraries and spending days on end pulling books and being inspired by what I find.
How does your workspace and studio reflect the personality of your jewellery?
Our studio is very laid-back and has a lot of things that remind me of the beach. We have surfboards, maps and globes, flamingos, and a rooftop with an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline. It’s reflected in my jewellery in the way that it’s easygoing, and but fun and daring at the same time. I think it’s the way accessories should be.
Do you have any good luck charms or keepsakes in the office?
We have a studio cat named Betty and she is a sweet little cat. I play with her every day! She mostly lies down and wants to be brushed. For the time we’ve had her, she’s made the studio a happier place.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Each day is different, depending on the season. I have days where I work on developing a new collection, and days where I prepare for production. I’m a Jack-of-all-trades – I love that there’s no typical routine because it keeps things interesting.
Which part of the design process do you love the most?
My favourite part is free-styling when I make a piece. I like combining my favourite charms, thread colours and new sewing techniques. Sometimes it never comes out the way you expect it, but with mistakes and lots of experimentation, you always get something innovative.
Do you have a particular favourite piece of jewellery you wear every day?
Right now, I love wearing the friendship cuffs from our AW14 collection. On one side it looks like just a simple cuff but when you look at the other side, you see that it’s a fun little bracelet with a happy charm. I’m obsessed with the special knotting technique we developed for this piece.
What should we be thinking about when buying our next jewellery piece?
Follow your gut. If you see a piece that speaks to you, try it on, and if it’s a fit you know it’s meant to be yours. Jewellery is really special and very personal.
Have you visited our Regent Street store? If so, which is your favourite department and why?
Yes, I have! It’s very beautiful. My favourite department is the fabric department. I am in love with the historical Liberty prints! I found myself in trouble buying meters and meters of gorgeous cottons that I brought back and decorated my house with.
The our full range of Venessa Arizaga jewellery is available to shop in-store, with selected styles available online.
Have you booked in for you next facial? Well before you do, you might want to consider giving the new Repair and Rebalance facial by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare a try. Liberty Online’s Assistant Editor, Fiona Davies, reviews the new miracle treatment.
“Think back to the last time you had a really great facial. Within the last month? Maybe in the last year? Never? Well it’s certainly been a while since I’ve treated my skin to such a luxury. So when I was invited to try Aurelia’s new Repair and Rebalance Probiotic facial, I could almost feel my face jumping for joy at the thought of a full hour of pampering ahead. What followed did not disappoint.
My treatment began, as it should, with a quick chat with my therapist about my skin’s history before the first product of the treatment was applied. The wonderfully soothing Aurelia Skincare Miracle Cleanser all over my face and décolletage. I really love this cleanser, for its beautiful smell and gorgeous creamy texture. I use it often in my own everyday skincare routine and my skin seems to look undeniably smoother afterwards. The eucalyptus and chamomile are particularly great for calming the skin and treating blemishes.
Next the Refine and Polish Miracle Balm; this facial polish is absolutely genius. Like a typical exfoliator, but with tiny granules so it’s very gentle on the skin, it works to clear away any lingering dead skin and brightens your complexion. Needless to say, my skin felt like satin once it had been rinsed off.
But the facial really came into itself during the Cell Repair Night Oil facial massage stage – a deep massage routine with one of the most incredible natural facial oils I have tried. The therapist spent a good 10 minutes working the oil in with a skilful, targeted facial massage that had me drifting off to sleep more than once!
Post-massage, Aurelia’s Rose Mask was applied and left to sink in while my therapist massaged my hands with the oil, releasing further tension. Once the mask was gently removed, the massage was completed with the Revitalise and Brighten Eye Dew – a roller ball that cools the eye area while applying a light serum to reduce puffiness. Finally the Day serum and moisturiser were applied to seal the deal.
What I loved most about this facial was the breadth of the Aurelia range that it covers. You really get to see the instant benefits of the brand’s best products, and come out the other side looking like you’ve been on holiday in the South of France for two weeks. My skin felt rich, moisturised, and plumper and I was glowing. Moreover, I felt like I’d just had the best beauty sleep of my life. I highly recommend it, whether for seasoned facialists or novices.”
Aurelia’s Probiotic Repair and Rebalance facials are available at the Liberty Beauty Treatment rooms throughout the year. The next event is due on Wednesday 3 September. Find out more about the facial here, and browse our schedule of treatments here for future events.