We hope you’re ready for the second episode of ‘Liberty of London‘, Channel 4‘s fly-on-the-wall documentary about our beloved store in the heart of Soho, airing tonight at 9pm. So far you have all loved meeting the characters and employees in the first episode, and tonight you get to know some of the pinnacle people a little more with more trials and tribulations that are just part of everyday life here at Liberty.
You’ll also get to meet our wonderful head of press and communications, Kate (pictured above with our Managing Director Ed Burstell and Head of Fashion Stephen Ayers. She and her hard working press team work tirelessly around the clock to ensure everything runs smoothly for our business, and that both customers and clients walk away with good experience of the store and what we can offer.
We caught up with Kate to find out just what she’s got her eye on for Christmas this year.
“I’m a big fan of self gifting at Christmas. Very indulgent, I know, but you’ve worked hard all year and deserve a treat don’t you? It’s also the perfect way to ensure you get exactly what you want!”
1. Richard Nicoll Stella Printed Silk Dress, £415.00
“I will be swanning round in this Richard Nicoll dress in between Christmas and New Year, using its diaphanous and forgiving cut to mask all food and wine excesses.”
2. Cire Trudon Abd El Khader La Grande Bougie Candle, £385.00
“I’m going to buy this giant Cire Trudon candle for a few of my pals and also put it on my list to Santa. The smell is so bewitching and will mingle perfectly with the wafts of pine needles and over excitement Christmas always brings.”
3. Liberty London Iphis Zip Pouch, £95.00
“This little beauty should help me with my New Years resolution to get my finances in order, or at least provide a place where I can store my receipts.”
4. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower 100ml, £210.00
“I always think fragrance is a nice gift for someone who is hard to buy for (hint, hint) and this is my favourite. I am also really into the new limited edition Liberty print box, which Mr Frederic Malle himself chose from our print archive to represent Carnal Flower visually. What’s not to love about that?”
5. Anna Sheffield Rose Gold Pavé Champagne Diamond Licol Ring, £1,440.00
“How major is this ring by Anna Sheffield? Almost too major is the answer! I love how Ms Sheffield uses delicate gemstones and precious metals in her work, but in an almost irreverent way. I’m going to rock this on my index finger and love showing it off… Which reminds me I must book a festive manicure at Margaret Dabbs!”
6. John Derian English Padlock Mini Glass Tray, £59.95
“I love this whimsical little trinket tray by John Derian. It’s the perfect thing to bring order to my chaotic dressing table. I’m going to put tomorrow’s jewellery out on it every night before bed.”
7. Givenchy Leopard Print Ponyskin Shoulder Bag, £1,125.00
“I like how this Givenchy bag is very uptown at first glance, but then when you take in the cross body chain and the claw fastening its very downtown too. I’m taking this to all my Yuletide festivities and matching my jewellery and nail polish to its rose gold chain strap.”
8. NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Mexican Rose, £17.50
“These Nars lip pencils are a marvel and make for great stocking fillers. I haven’t tried this shade yet but I’m hoping someone might buy it for me.”
For lots more incredible and thoughtful gifting ideas, shop our collection of hand picked gift edits.
This season, our vast emporium of unique and wonderful treasures and designs from all over the world celebrates its heritage and eclectic collections in the form of a special keepsake. ‘Liberty: British Colour Pattern‘ is a lavishly illustrated book that takes a look into the vaults and archives of our great store and explores the history of our remarkable range of products and prints. Including previously unseen photographs of pieces buried deep in our extensive archive, the book features 135 years of Liberty’s most iconic and groundbreaking textile prints, as well as its collaborations with contemporary artists, fashion designers and illustrators.
Head of Design for the Liberty Design Studio, Emma Mawston, was one of the contributors to the book. We caught up with her to find out how she helped the publishers and authors gather content from the archives and the Design Studio to retell the history of Liberty print.
“This is a historic album of pattern and design for all those who treasure anything artistic and inspiring – especially those who love Liberty. I found the early parts of the book fascinating and learnt wondrous things about Liberty that I was unaware of. It is a work of art to be read over and over again, and each time you pick up on something that you may have missed in previous perusal.
On pages 68 to 87 you’ll find my fashion fabrics. We started with hand printed colourways found in my attic, complete with peeling off paint (as we often painted over and over colourways to achieve the desired colour combination). We became masters of colour mixing and discovered which tints mixed best with which. Purple lake was a great base colour. I delved back fifteen years to pull out past collections to give an insight into the brief surrounding each. The most important and relevant collections which most represented each concept were then chosen to be published.
The first collaborator I worked with was Grayson Perry for autumn/ winter 2009, and I can’t think of a more amazing artist to have worked with. Not only did Grayson come up with amazing designs never seen before at Liberty or anywhere else, he also worked each design into perfect repeat by hand. The majority of textile designers struggle to do this. It is very fitting that two pages of the book are dedicated to Grayson where readers can view his sketches of original artworks for the prints Cranford, Sissy and Flo, which are usually only accessible to Liberty and high end customers. Since then we have worked with the most amazing collaborators, not all mentioned in this book but all contributing to the look and ethos of Liberty Art Fabrics.
Just about every designer who has worked within the Liberty Art Fabrics Design Studio has a least one design within the ‘New Direction’ section, representing the diversity of print within this era. We are lucky to be able to draw and research in the most relevant way for each collection, creating original prints from hand drawn artwork.”
Buy the book Liberty: British Colour Pattern
It’s not every day that an award winning beauty journalist comes up with a brand new product that’s set to change the way we view a certain area of our bodies. But that is exactly what Kate Shapland, beauty columnist for the Telegraph Magazine, has done.
Introducing Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift For Legs, a new generation contouring and smoothing cream that delivers deep drainage benefits to lighten legs, reduce puffiness and cellulite, dissolve aches, pains and fatigue, rejuvenate and energise. This new miracle cream could be the answer you’ve been looking for all along and key to the best looking legs of your life – just in time for party season! So who better to explain the work and method behind Legology than the brains behind the brand herself?
“To say creating Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift for Legs was a labour of love is no exaggeration. The foundations to the concept started many years ago – certainly at the beginning of my beauty writing career some 25 years ago. Initially, the focus of my fascination was cellulite – and I’m still interested in that. But it dawned on me over the years that cellulite is a manifestation of many factors, so requires a whole body approach to treat, and that there are a host of other leg issues women have – some of which can contribute to cellulite (like fluid retention) – that aren’t being addressed. It felt to me like leg care had been hijacked by cellulite, a problem which is tricky to shift (if at all), and that seemed a shame.
I was also extremely inspired by the way legs were cared for at The Leg School on Capri. This is the most wonderful clinic that Italian women go to, and have their cellulite, thread veins, stretch marks addressed, while their husbands go to The Heart Clinic next door. The whole approach was so elegant and done with a real love for the female form, not a dislike for bits that add curve and softness to a figure. Of course I do see why a streamlined shape is the goal for so many of us; I just think we could be a bit kinder on ourselves and achieve that goal with more patience and panache.
I wanted Legology to perform like a complete workhorse – to really help with puffiness/oedema, cellulite and heaviness – but to feel like a total treat to use. The science behind great legs is frequency – any massage therapist will tell you that you must stimulate your legs (and body if time allows) daily to get the blood return and lymph healthy, because that’s how legs stay streamlined. And never underestimate how much better and more nimble you feel when your legs are lighter. It changes your whole mood. You need to love applying a product to keep doing it, otherwise it becomes a chore and you give up. I like to think Legology Air-Lite gives you energy from your toes up – like champgne bubbles.
It took me many years to get the point where I was ready to launch my product. I wanted every single aspect of my cream to be right – from the way it felt to apply, to what it did, its scent and how it looked. I believe all of these aspects are important to the success of a product. I finally found myself on the factory floor in September this year for the first production, having spent much of the previous night hand-numbering the jars (I only made a limited 500), and when the line manager handed me the first jar off the production line – my talisman, which happened to be my lucky number 4 – I had a quiet cry under my protective hair net. To see your dream brought to being after many years and the inevitable ups and downs, is an emotional experience – how could it not be? I feel extraordinarily lucky to be able to share that dream with Liberty customers.”
Kate’s favourite picks from the Liberty beauty hall
I confess I’ve been walking around with a bag of Liberty gift coins in my bag for nearly 3 months now. There is clearly an issue and that is that I simply cannot decide what to spend them on. Let’s just bypass the jewellery, stationery and haberdashery departments for now, the beauty department is enough of a problem. Those coins will go on one of the following, but which?
Hourglass Cosmetics – founder Carisa Janes is a true entrepreneur. She has created a make-up brands which is genuinely groundbreaking in formula and design. Her Ambient Lighting Powders are absolutely beautiful, so refined in texture and nuance; her Femme Nude Lip Stylo is a genius concept – a nude for every lip: I’d like all 6 shades.
Essie – a favourite nail polish brand. Shades St Lucia Lilac and Merino Cool are complete classics.
Anne Semonin – one of those quietly brilliant brands. I especially like her Precious Serum – a mix of rose, St John’s Wort, geranium and lavender, a great skin pick-me-up.
Sisley Ecological Compound – proof positive that the beauty business is not about newness. There are some incredible products that have been around for many years and continue because they are exceptional. This is one of them. It’s the perfect light milk moisturiser, made for wearing under makeup.
Eve Lom Cleanser – still the best hot cloth cleanser ever invented.
Laboratoires Perfumes Samphire Fragrance Candle – I love everything about this, from its neat little beaker presentation to its scent. Samphire! The aroma of the sea and a departure from the usual ozonic notes.
Carthusia – naturally, with the island of Capri being such an inspiration to me for Legology Air-Lite, I adore Caprissimo Eau de Toilette, Aria di Capri Parfum and Fiori di Capri Eau de Toilette.
Anne Semonin Botanical Body Oil – no one makes a body oil like Anne Semonin. This is like liquid gold and there isn’t a trace of grease to it.
Omorovicza Gold Sugar Scrub – what a I call a proper body scrub: you don’t end up ‘chasing the grain’ around your legs, in other words it’s lovely and crunchy!
Guam Salinated Algae Bath Salts – an excellent detoxifier and surprisingly nice to soak in, unlike many seaweed baths. The trick is to keep the water on the warm side of hot and have lots of soft towels to wrap up in afterwards.
Better You Magnesium Oil Soak – this works well to detox too, but I tend to use it more when I get psoriasis flare ups and when I need a good night’s sleep. It’s very relaxing.
Decléor Aromessence Sculpt Balm – this is unusual in that it’s a balm, but for me that makes it all the better because as a balm it allows you to really give it a good massage which is absolutely key to enhancing the contour of your figure.
Nesti Dante Fiorentini Cypress Soap – who knew bath soap could be such an utter joy? I could develop an unhealthy addiction to this.
Sisley Eau de Campagne Bath Oil – the freshest bath oil I’ve ever tried, this is sublime. Of course, rose is lovely in the bath, but sometimes all you want is freshness and, ideally, a lovely view across the fields from your bathroom window while you soak in it.
Shop Kate Shapland’s beauty edit here.
Charlotte Smith is the crafting aficionado and author behind the blog LottsandLots.blogspot.co.uk, and today she is our featured guest blogger. Describing herself as a ‘craft blogger with a stylish edge’, Charlotte has a real passion for jewellery making, creating unique DIY projects and making everyday things just a little more beautiful. She is also a big fan of Liberty print fabric, which she has used for several of her past projects.
“I started my blog as a place to share my inspiration and the projects I always had on the go. I have been collecting beads, sequins, ribbons, fabric and magazines ever since I can remember. Once I found out that I could combine all these things through blogging, I couldn’t wait to give it a go!
It gives me so much pleasure to share new ideas with my readers. I believe that being crafty doesn’t have to be twee or old-fashioned; I keep my projects colourful, quick and simple so even the busiest of people can be encouraged to be more creative.”
Charlotte has shared with us her DIY flower garland tutorial, one of her past projects using Liberty print. Try it yourself with her simple step-by-step below, and choose from the wide range of beautiful Art Fabrics in-store and online.
“These are so simple to make, they would be ideal to make slightly bigger for a wedding or party, and are a refreshing alternative to bunting – try tying on some extra ribbons or sparkley bits!”
- Liberty print fabric scraps – I chose these three: Capel, Mark, Poppy and Honesty,but you can use any prints, cut into 5 inch Squares
- 5mm colourful ribbon
- Coloured net
- Beading Wire – I used a mix of colours cut into 20cm lengths
Step 1: Cut your net squares approximately the same size as your Liberty pieces
Step 2: Take your first square and then a square of net, fold as in “half” like the picture.
Step 3: Fold in “half’ again and pinch the top to form a bud shape.
Step 4: Fold your wire in half and wrap around a pencil and twist a few times to make a loop (its easier if you get these prepped before you start)
Step 5: Take your bud and tightly wrap your wire around the top until it is secure.
Step 6: Repeat until all your buds are done. I did six but you could do more depending on how long you want your garland to be.
Step 7: Take your length of ribbon (mine was just under 2 meters) and fold the ends over to make a loop and knot into place the loops should be about 10cm long.
Step 8: Fold the ribbon in half and place your buds along the length to work out the spacing. If you want, you can mark with a pencil where the buds will go.
Step 9: Knot all your buds into place.
Step 10: Hang and enjoy!
Liberty were delighted to be invited to the UK Fashion & Textiles Awards on 23 May. Celebrating the very best of British manufacturing and design, we were thrilled to win the 2013 Retailer of the Year category! There to accept the award on Liberty’s behalf was Lee Whittle, our General Store Manager and Hollie Maddox, our Acting Head of Marketing. We caught up with Lee to find out how the evening went.
Tell us about the beginning of the night…
Our fantastic night at the UK FT awards started off with a welcoming glass of champagne as we arrived at the amazing venue (One Mayfair) and then milled about among the fashion industry leaders, brands, retailers, and celebrities. We were then shown to our table where we sat with Caroline Nodder, Editor-in-Chief at Drapers, as well as the family business Abraham Moon – that later went on to win Supplier of the Year. We were really interested to learn about the Abraham Moon wool business, and found out that we had a lot in common. Even older than Liberty – at a grand old age of 176 years – the Moon business still retains its core values of authenticity and quality. It was great to celebrate their win with them, and then to find out we won Retailer of the Year!
How did you find out we had won?
We were looking through the programme of the evening and saw that Liberty was the only name under the nominees for Retailer of the Year. It turned out that we had already won the award, having been voted for by members of the UK Fashion & Textile Association, with the final vote cast by the judges – which included leading industry figures and journalists. It was great to know that Liberty had been awarded the prize by our business peers, and that we’d been recognised for supporting British designers.
What was it like going up to collect the award?
Surreal! I got to shake hands with Anne, The Princess Royal as she gave me the award and then air-kiss Myleene Klass while a model dressed in Levi’s x Liberty print strutted down the catwalk. We then stood with all the other winners including Christopher Raeburn, Emma Shipley and, of course, the Abraham Moon representatives for a photo. Hollie joked that it was my P-Diddy moment as I managed to strike a pose with Myleene Klass and our model. Fantastic!
Any final thoughts?
It was a really great night for Liberty. The reception we got from everyone was so warm; everyone commented on how much they loved the store and our products and we had more than one person asking how to get their products stocked at the store. For me, it confirmed what I’ve always believed, that Liberty truly is the best and most innovative retailer, retaining its place at the heart of the British Fashion industry.