We catch up with Maimie London’s Amber Wyles to find out more about her ultra-wearable Liberty Print designs.
Spearheading a Liberty Print revolution, emerging British label, Maimie London, has delved into our iconic Art Fabrics archive, constructing exquisite silk satin pieces that transcend high/low boundaries. The brainchild of designer Amber Wyles, the brand is defined by classic, easily wearable shapes, designed to present a luxurious solution to everyday elegance that “slips on like your favourite pyjamas” – we can think of nothing better!
Home-grown production is a matter that lies at the heart of the brand, with operations remaining firmly rooted in the great British capital. Every piece is handmade to the highest quality by an intimate team of skilled seamstresses, lovingly crafted to make you look and feel incredible! So, whether you pick from the latest collection or get creative with their coveted bespoke service, anyone ill-equipped to take on the sewing machine can leave it to Amber et al to magic up their very own Liberty Print creation. But be quick, these limited edition designs are only available until the rolls run out!
Frankly, we’re a little bit overwhelmed by Maimie’s passion for our pride and joy; we spoke to Amber herself for an exclusive insight into the creative vision behind this exciting venture…
What do you love most about Liberty?
I’ve been an avid fan of Liberty prints, ever since I was little and given a paisley silk dressing gown my Aunt had made – I used waft around in it, pretending it was a ball gown! I love that the prints are made by such a small group of dedicated designers and I love that everything is made in England. I have to say, as well as Liberty Art Fabrics, I adore the shop itself. The history, the heritage, the products… the first… second… and third floor! A major goal from the outset has been to get Maimie London on the shelves.
Can you pick your three favourite prints?
My current favourites are the Hampton Wedding, Anne’s Garden and Engine prints.
What was the first Liberty print item you made?
Some rose floral pyjama bottoms
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Vintage lounge and leisure wear – particularly that of the 1940s and 1950s.
Which other designers do you admire?
So, so many… Emilio Pucci, Charlie Brear, Carven, Barbara Casasola, Chalayan, Vilshenko, Oscar De La Renta, Stella McCartney, Alice Temperley, Issa, L’Agence, Christopher Kane, Mara Hoffman – to name a few. I love designers that celebrate femininity and make elegance easy.
I love the feel and the drape of silk. I know it is expensive, but it is such a treat to wear and unlike so many expensive things, it lasts forever if it’s looked after properly. Silk is also quite a magic fabric – not only is it breathable, but it’s cooling on your skin when it’s warm, and warming when it’s cool.
Does the fabric pose any challenges during production?
I am lucky to work with an amazing seamstress who specialises in silk, so she manages to overcome the challenges. Lots of manufacturers simply won’t or can’t work with it because of its slippery surface, particularly silk satin.
Where did you learn your craft?
I studied Design at the University of Leeds.
How important is it for you to keep production in the UK?
Absolutely, 100% important. British manufacture is all part of Maimie London.
Is it exciting to see people wearing your pieces?
So exciting! I actually don’t think there is anything better (I’m sure that sounds a bit sad) but to see ladies feeling really good, wearing something you’ve designed, is just the happiest feeling.
Who would you love to see wearing Maimie London?
I would love to see all the ladies in England feeling feminine, confident and comfy in their Maimie’s! But if I had to be specific, as Maimie is a Pro-British, pro-female brand, it would be a particular pleasure to see Kate Middleton, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Rachel Weisz, Keira Knightley, Anna Friel, Lily James and of course our brand favourite, Cressida Bonas, wearing Maimie London.
What can we expect to see next from Maimie London?
I want to make a ‘Hollywood Glamour’ inspired silk jacket to complement the cigarette pants next season… watch this space.
Photo Credit: Francesca Hill
Feeling inspired? Shop Liberty Silk Satin here
Shop Maimie London
We chat to Sales Associate and creator of the Cape Drape Omar as his first collection for Liberty hits the shop floor.
If you watched Liberty of London on Channel 4 last November, you’re sure to remember Womenswear Sales Associate Omar. Creator of the Cape Drape, Omar’s talent was spotted during filming of the show, and his collection was quickly snapped up by Managing director Ed Burstell, and Buyer Stephen Ayers.
Here’s how this fledgling designer went from shop floor to stockist and meeting Adele in a mere six months. . .
How did it feel when Ed and Stephen told you they wanted to stock the Cape Drape?
It was so weird – on the day it was filmed the production crew just told me they just wanted to talk about windows, then Stephen and Ed came down. When they told me they were buying the Cape Drape the only three words I could get out of my mouth were oh my god. I was hyperventilating in the corner – it was so surreal. But amazing!
I’m still working on the shop floor, I’m training people on the cape drape in the morning, selling through the day and looking after my own brand. I straighten my rail every five seconds!
How does it feel to have the moment immortalised on TV?
I’ve watched it back once, at that moment in time it didn’t feel real. It was only while I was sewing the garments that it started to sink in, even last week it was so surreal saying the labels are here, or it’s launching tomorrow and I have to put signage out.
Did you come across any challenges in production?
The original Cape Drape was just made as an out-there piece for me, so I needed to bring it to a point where it was more wearable. I had to adapt the original to perfect things like the arm holes, it was just me having a vision and trying to put it across.
My university (LCF) were incredible, they let me use their facilities to produce the collection. I’m really grateful for them! Each Cape Drape is handmade, every little piece!
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?
I would say stick to your guns, try not to doubt yourself and always strive for the best. If you envision something, make sure what you produce is what you had in mind.
What’s been the highlight so far?
Adele bought the first Cape Drape in the first hour of them being on the shop floor. She was just casually shopping, what are the chances??
What’s next for your label?
I’m looking to go into easy-to-wear dresses, along the same unfussy lines. I like the idea of shift dresses, that kind of thing.
Coming to Liberty.co.uk very soon, the Cape Drape is now available in-store.
Introducing our latest design collaboration with global accessories brand Herschel Supply, perfectly combining our floral prints with the brand’s practical elegance in three design-driven women’s backpacks.
The collection features three covetable Herschel Supply silhouettes. The Ware and Hanson, with their clean, cylindrical shapes and cinch closures, and the uniquely styled Dawson, boasting multiple strap detailed compartments with a zippered interior and side-access sleeves. Crafted from lightweight, soft-touch fabrics with slender adjustable straps, the bags are detailed with traditional vegetable tanned leather and polished silver-tone hardware.
Herschel Supply carefully selected prints from the Liberty archive to use for the collaboration. Donna Leigh – inspired by a design from the late 1700s, combining a rich background with contrasting watercolour painted flowers – and Deborah – an Art Nouveau print inspired by an early Merton Abbey Mills pattern book.
Each backpack design comes in two options: a print combination of Donna Leigh Tana Lawn and Deborah Tana Lawn, or solid navy accented with tactile Donna Leigh print cord. Each bag is finished with a custom Liberty woven label.
The Herschel Supply for Liberty collection will be exclusively available in-store and online at liberty.co.uk from Monday 23 March.
Introducing Thierry Lasry’s collaboration with Fendi – exclusive to Liberty for one month.
Thierry Lasry has collaborated with Fendi on an avant-garde-meets-luxury collaboration this spring. The bold yet elegant frames take inspiration from the colourful Fendi archives, along with prints and images from Fendi’s previous campaigns. Featuring bright, geometric patterns inspired by Cubism and Kinetic art, the collection offers a combination of vintage inspiration and experimental design.
Snap up your favourite pair here >