James Millar’s Print for Liberty Loyalty’s 15th Anniversary Card

Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 11.18





Discover the inspiration behind James Millar’s print design for the the Liberty Loyalty 15th anniversary card.

James Millar print Liberty Loyalty Card

James Millar is the name behind the eye-catching purple and greyscale rose print limited edition card for Liberty Loyalty. Created through layering photographs of roses taken on a recent inspiration trip to Granada. The individual photographs were taken within the beautiful gardens of the world famous Alhambra and then collaged together to create this final design, both abstract in its style and unisex in its appeal.

James Millar Liberty London Head of Design for Fashion and Accessories

“I wanted to create something slightly more unisex so I decided to produce a photographic based design rather than a drawing. I had just come back from a trip from Granada, Spain and I had taken some rose photos whilst in a beautiful garden there so I decided to use those photographs to collage together my design. I also wanted to play with the existing card colours of silver and purple but re-interpret and use them in a new way, hence the colour scheme used in my card.”

When deciding who to ask to design a limited edition print for the Liberty Loyalty 15th anniversary cards, Head of Design for Liberty, James Millar, was an obvious choice. James oversees all accessories for both women and men, including our world famous Liberty scarves, iconic Iphis collection of small leather goods and bags. He has previously worked for leading fashion labels including Jonathan Saunders and Loewe, and is a graduate of the prestigious MA fashion course at Central St Martins, London.





Emma Mawston’s Print for the Liberty Loyalty’s 15th Anniversary Card

Wednesday 16th April 2014, 15.14



Inspired by an archival print and repeated roses pattern, we reveal the story behind Emma Mawston’s print for the Liberty Loyalty 15th Anniversary card.

Emma Mawston Liberty Print

In celebration of 15 years of the Liberty Loyalty programme, the loyalty team asked four of our most cherished designers and brands to each design an exclusive print to feature on the limited edition anniversary cards – including Liberty Art Fabrics designer Emma Mawston, Head of Design for Liberty London Fashion and Accessories James Millar, London jewellery designer Annina Vogel and renowned perfumer Le Labo. This print by Emma Mawston, Head of Fashion Fabrics for Liberty Art Fabrics, takes its inspiration from a 19th century floral spray found in the Liberty London archive. The artwork has been completely re-drawn and hand painted in repeat from a selection of roses by David Austen and a rose bush called Rosa Xanthina. We caught up with Emma Mawston to find out her design process and choice of flower.

“Roses have always been one of the most popular flowers on Liberty Art Fabrics; they are the emblem of England and Liberty prides itself on its heritage. They are one of the most wonderful flowers to paint and draw as they come in so many amazing colours, shapes and sizes. Even the same species on one bush can be so varied.

The Rose is cherished not only for its floral beauty but also for its fragrance which makes rose gardens one of the most evocative and memorable experiences in English gardens. Literature and especially childrens literature features roses in such diverse and illustrative ways some of which we have translated into designs, examples are ‘Snow White and Rose Red’ and ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. The latter was the inspiration for ‘Rose Xanthe’ a design named after my younger daughter which is a larger version of the rose design represented on the Liberty store card. The design was inspired by ‘Would you please tell me’ said Alice a little timidly, ‘Why are you painting those roses red?’ and will be on sale in Spring Summer 2015 in a cream un-painted roses colour way and in a deep rich red representing the painted ones.

The design promotes Liberty’s design heritage for hand drawn, original prints with inspiration taken from the famous Liberty archive. This design represents Liberty Loyalty customers as their continued support for our fabric collections has made them the most successful part of the Liberty business in recent years.”

Liberty Xanthe Rose Sketch

Emma has worked at Liberty for nearly 22 years, starting as a colourist in 1992. She took over as Head of Fashion Fabrics in May 1998 and her first collection was produced in Spring/ Summer 2000. After helping to produce over 30 fashion fabric collections, she has now moved over to head up the Liberty Art Fabrics Furnishing Fabric design studio as well. A mother of two, Emma’s two little girls continue to make her laugh every day and inspire her work.

The Liberty Loyalty programme celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Why not join us for the celebrations and pick up a limited edition card? You don’t have to be a new member to opt in for a new card! Join Liberty Loyalty now and, as a member, you will have a chance to win a luxury stay. One winner will be chosen every month from April to December 2014. Liberty Loyalty members will receive exclusive discount invites, new collection updates, loyalty vouchers and beauty loyalty benefits.


Nike UK x Alex Monroe: How to get this necklace

Friday 4th April 2014, 13.48



This medal-inspired Alex Monroe necklace is the coveted prize for Nike We Own the Night finishers, presented in a Liberty print box and unveiled exclusively in-store.

Liberty print nike necklace box

10th May will see thousands of like-minded women take to the streets of London after dark for a fitness-busting 10K race. The cause: a portion of your registration fee will go to charity Us Girls Starz, giving young girls a brighter, active future. The prize: this beautiful Alex Monroe necklace.

Designed by Liberty jewellery hall favourite Alex Monroe in his London workshop, the concept is simple: a fittingly fashionable piece that carries memories of the day, yet subtle enough to wear with pride every day.

alex monroe workshop

Presented in a Liberty print box, the delicate chain features gold, silver and bronze-tone discs, each engraved with a Nike momento. The necklace will be unveiled and on display exclusively in-store from Monday 7th April, alongside the latest Nike x Liberty collection of footwear and apparel. The necklace won’t be available to buy though…the only way to get it is to run.

nike and alex monroe necklace

Register here for We Own the Night and run alongside teams from Liberty, Alex Monroe and many others.


Meet Keighley from Liberty’s Design Studio

Friday 28th February 2014, 14.31

Behind the Print with Keighley

Ever wanted to learn how to make your very own clothing, but found the thought of following a dress pattern more daunting than Everest? Print aficionado, Keighley is here to put you at ease. We caught up with Liberty’s loveliest print designer to pick up some dress making tips, and pry into the world of the Liberty Design Studio and what it’s like to work there. We also got a glimpse of Keighley’s collection of handmade garments – flirty floral frocks, retro A-line minis and a host of snug fleece sweatshirts – all enough to make you green with wardrobe envy.


How long have you been a print designer at Liberty, and how did you end up working in the Liberty print design team?

I’ve been at Liberty for about two and a half years. I studied fashion print at Central St. Martins and was on a sandwich course so I could spend a year in the industry before my final year, most of which I spent at Liberty. I loved it and was offered a job for when I finished my degree which was really exciting.

What part of the print design process do you love and find the most exciting?
I love the actual designing part the most; drawing, painting or lino printing the design. But getting the brief and the research part, when I’ve got lots of ideas buzzing around my head, is pretty exciting too. Once the design has been approved the colouring stage is really interesting. When the design starts to be coloured it really comes to life and it always amazes me how colour can transform the design.

You sometimes go on field trips to get inspiration for the seasonal fabric designs. What has been the most memorable trip you’ve taken with the team?
The most memorable trip was Florence. One of the other designers and I went at the end of last year and it was just incredible. There is so much beauty packed into such a small city. We went for three days and managed to see so many inspiring things, I can’t go into too much detail as it was research for Autumn/ Winter 2015 – which is still very top secret!

Working so many seasons in advance, how do you ensure designs will remain relevant and current?
It’s great working so far in advance because it allows us to almost set the trends and create designs that will go on to inspire others who will use the fabrics in their collections. Our briefs are always so inspiring and within our collections we try to create gorgeous designs and beautiful colours that will appeal to a variety of customers. We also have an innovation team who search for great new base fabrics to put our designs on to. We have recently launched denim and fleece, which are both amazing and so wearable (I think I have five Liberty fleece jumpers now!).

Keighley projects

What is your favourite Liberty print, and what does it mean to you?
Oh that’s quite a hard question! I’m going to have to mention a few. I’m quite attached to all of my designs as I work on them for so long, then we can name them after someone and that makes you feel even more attached! I named my very first design ‘Jacqueline Helena’ after my mum; I designed it at St. Martins when we did a collaboration competition with Liberty in our second year. My first design as a designer here was inspired by sound and was named after my brother, ‘Joshua Graham’. I also love ‘Kevin’ (my dad!), a design from Autumn/ Winter 2014 which was inspired by star constellations. From Spring/ Summer 2014, I think my favourites are ‘Sheree’ which was inspired by the Liberty Bath House and named after my auntie, and ‘Jess and Jean’ which was inspired by the furnishing room. I’ve just seen that Sessùn have used it for a dress which I’m really excited to buy. I haven’t even mentioned the designs I love that I haven’t designed! I must just mention ‘Alice’s Garden’, a design from Autumn/ Winter 2013. This is ‘Anna’s garden’ (also a beautiful print which was inspired by a scarf print from the archive) made really tiny and put onto fleece, it’s just gorgeous. ‘Wild Flowers’ from Autumn/ Winter 2014 was created from a paper cut sculpture of a botanical book, it was also printed on fleece, so I made a gorgeous jumper and also recently upholstered my wooden desk chair cushion with it, which looks lovely.

Is it true there is a print named after you? Have you made anything from the design?
Yes! ‘Keighley’ was designed in Spring/ Summer 2012, I absolutely love it and have brought metres of it. I can’t decide what to make, it has to be something special. Luckily, Paige Denim used ‘Keighley’ and made a really cute pair of denim shorts which I obviously bought.

You make many of your own items using Liberty print, what has been your favourite project so far?
When I was interning I collected lots of different scraps and made a quilt which is on my bed so I love waking up to that. But making clothes is fun; being able to see something I like then try and re-create it is great. I went through a phase of making lots of fleece jumpers, but at the moment I seem to be making lots of A-line mini skirts out of the denim and also material from our new Furnishing Fabrics collection. I also really enjoy making presents, it’s lovely to give someone something you’ve made, even if it’s something little.

Many people feel daunted by the prospect of making clothing, what advice or encouragement do you have for those first timers?

Don’t be daunted! It really is quite easy if you start with something simple, like an elasticated skirt, for example, or a T-shirt style dress. The best way to start is to get hold of a garment that you like the shape of and that you can ideally cut up to create a pattern. It’s a really good way of seeing how garments are put together and the more you practice the more you will get used to knowing what the patterns need to look like to be able to fit the body. Trial and error is the best way to learn if you haven’t had any training in it.

Finally, will you be making anything from the new season ‘Gallery of Prints’ collection? If so, which print will you be using?
As we design so far ahead I’ve had the Spring/ Summer ’14 fabric around for a while, so I’ve made a smock dress from ‘Jonathan’, some boxer shorts and an iPad case out of ‘Sheree’ and lots of cushions out of ‘Jess and Jean’, which look lovely. Also, a little rag doll for my niece’s first birthday with a patchwork dress of ‘Sheree’, ‘Jess and Jean’, ‘Jennie and Steve’ and few other designs from other seasons. I went to have a look at the collection on the shop floor the other day and was reminded of how much I love ‘Isle of Wight’, so I really want to make something out of that… I’m not sure what yet.



Sophie Pate: What Gets Me Through Fashion Week

Tuesday 18th February 2014, 15.13

Senior Press Officer Sophie Pate is accompanies Kate Brindley, Head of Marketing and Communications, to each of the shows twice a year. Often photographed during the five day event by street photographers, it’s imperative she is looking her absolute best at all times.

Sophie talks us through what she’s most looking forward to seeing at the Autumn/ Winter 2014 London shows and what helps keep her looking camera ready between shows.


What gets you through fashion week?
I drink a lot of coconut water to rehydrate, but I always carry sachets of EBOOST which is great for a natural energy boost, the acai pomegranate flavours are yummy.

Which shows are you looking forward to seeing?
I am really looking forward to seeing J.W. Anderson as he is new for us for Spring/ Summer 2014 so it will be good to see what he has designed for next season and he is always one to watch at fashion week.

What’s your Fashion Week beauty essential?
I have a few… Always a good strong lippy, so either a fab red from Ellis Faas or any of the lip pencils from Nars. I cannot live without the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer, it’s great to have at hand when you need to touch up between shows.

What’s inside your Iphis print Liberty London pouch?
Well mainly all my tickets but I love to double up and use this as a clutch , so all my essentials too – phone, water, mints, make-up and by the looks of things a brolly! It’s surprising how much you can fit into it!


Follow all the action during London Fashion Week and beyond with the Liberty Press Team and Sophie Pate: @Liberty_Sophie