The Original Hermes Birkin Comes to Liberty

Friday 14th November 2014, 17.34





To celebrate 30 years of the Birkin bag, Vintage collector and House of Hermès expert Catherine B has brought her unique collection to Liberty.

Catherine B

Owner of vintage boutique Les 3 Marches in Paris, collector Catherine B deals exclusively in Chanel and House of Hermès. With a collection that includes the original Birkin bag made by Jean-Louis Dumas for Jane Birkin herself, Catherine has brought this rare piece (among others) to London for the first time in celebration of the bag’s 30th anniversary.

Original Hermes Birkin

Catherine credits the Birkin’s stunning longevity to its wearability,“the Birkin has been famous since 1984, it will still be here in 2024”. Initialled and featuring a bespoke shoulder strap, the original Birkin bag is the cornerstone in an unrivalled collection of vintage bags, scarves and accessories that are usually housed in Catherine’s Paris store, but have been brought to Liberty,a place Catherine calls a “symbol of chic” with a unique heritage and the capacity to do these iconic pieces justice.

Also featured in the exhibition are a mini black lizard skin Kelly bag, a Birkin bag illustrated by Antoine Kruk and a prarie green ‘collier de chien’ belt. When selecting vintage or second hand pieces, Catherine says, “the handbag, scarf or accessory should talk to you”. Each piece in her landmark Hermès collection has been chosen for its unique appeal, whether it’s an artistic touch, a luxurious finish or simply for the love of the craftsmanship – a major point in Catherine’s world of vintage.

Vintage Hermes Collection

“Brands can’t craft to the same standard now…there is too much demand. Everyone wants an Hermès bag” she says, mulling over the brand’s position as a pillar of quality, struggling to balance impeccable work with huge demand. This is why she has always turned to vintage;“I don’t want a piece that just anyone can have”.

Visit the Liberty heritage suite 14 – 17 November to browse Catherine’s collection of rare and one-off pieces. Certain items will also be available to purchase from the 2nd floor vintage department. Find out more >

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The Liberty top six: Party Heels

Friday 14th November 2014, 10.30






We’ve detailed our top six party heels for the seasons ahead.

The festive season is well on its way. Evoke sophistication and style at all your upcoming events with an upgrade to your wardrobe. A pair of designer shoes from the Liberty high heels edit is the perfect touch. We’ve detailed our top six below.

party-heels-1

Charlotte Olympia
Palona Fan Satin Pumps
These satin pumps ooze luxury and will enhance any outfit instantly. We love the subtle fans featured on the heel, they add an extra flair to your evening look. Pair them with your little black dress for effortless elegance.

Valentino
Leather Rockstud 100 Stiletto Ankle Boots
For a luxurious addition to your shoe wardrobe, rock Valentino’s signature pyramid studs with these edgy leather boots. Team easily with dresses and skirts but for a stylish understated look, pair with skinny jeans and a cashmere knit. These ankle boots will transition you from day to night with their high-fashion rockstuds and stiletto design.

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Charlotte Olympia
Fantastic Dolly Tassel Suede Pumps
For a touch of showbiz, slide into another pair of show-stopping heels from Charlotte Olympia. These black suede pumps feature a golden fan and black tassels on the heel. A basic dress is all that’s required with this sophisticated pair, but for the ultimate glamour look, team with your favourite cocktail dress. You’ll be turning heads all evening.

Valentino
Contrast Rockstud So Noir 100 Sling-back Leather Stiletto Pumps
Go bold with these statement studded stilettos from Valentino. These are the heels to be wearing, irrelevant of the seasons. Their iconic design from the major fashion-house will add an unforgettable finish to your outfits. Wear with leather pants and a white T-shirt to take a basic look to the next level, or slip into your evening dress to evoke edgy elegance.

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Stuart Weitzman
Nouveau Leather Stiletto Pumps
Dress sharp with these classic stilettos from Stuart Weitzman. They’ll steer you away from just wearing darker shades during the cooler seasons, and lift any outfit with their luxurious white patent leather. Not to mention will work wonders for your summer wardrobe as well. Pair with jeans to instantly boost your look, or combine with eveningwear for a high-impact polished finish.

Marni
Block Heel Felt Sandals
Party heels don’t have to be sky-high. These block heel sandals from Marni voice sophistication and luxury. Their felt covering, large buckle and gold-tone accents create a juxtaposition of style and textile. Team with wide culottes and a plush knit for a look that will take you through the seasons.

Love the edit? Discover your next pair in our party heels collection. If you missed our other blogs featuring the top six products, explore the Liberty top six Faux & Fabulous and Unique Scarves posts.

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Liberty of London: Meet Omar Khan

Wednesday 12th November 2014, 17.45






Meet Omar Khan, one of Liberty’s elite Sales Associates.

Omar-Kahn-Liberty-of-London

In our meet the staff exclusives we chat to Omar about his debut in the newly-screened second season of Liberty of London. We discuss his favourite moments at Liberty, his go-to designers this Christmas and what A-listers he’s spent time with in-store.

Job title: Sales Associate

What does your job entail?
Basically I make ladies look amazing! Pulling new looks together, setting trends and seeing what trends are out there.

What’s been your favourite Liberty moment?
My favourite Liberty moment is working with social media. Seeing things I’ve pulled together on Instagram and Twitter, with people commenting saying they look amazing; I think that’s really awesome. It’s amazing, and people appreciate it as well, which is really, really great. I do love it.

Who are your go-to designers for the festive season?
If I was going to go for any kind of designer for the festive season it would be Dries Van Noten. Because embellishment-wise, you get sparkle or hand-beading, so you can really feel the Christmas spirit. I would also say Valentino: Rockstuds all the way! Get your feet glammed up, studs on the arms: get everything. It’s Edgy Christmas. Definitely, definitely Valentino.

What is your favourite winter trend?
I think the big trend for me is definitely faux fur. Because as much as people love fur, to be able to rock a piece of faux fur and it still look just as good as the real thing? Perfect. You can really work with it, just wear a pair of jeans and T-shirt but get that big statement fur piece.

What is it like working at Liberty?
Amazing. I love working at Liberty, I love the women I style, they get happy and I get a good feeling from helping them. Eventually if I move up through to styling or buying, I want to make women feel happy with the selection of clothing I would forward to them, then they could really feel that they love a piece, and I want them to feel excited. It’s amazing working here, I do love it.

Have you met anyone famous in-store?
Lindsay Lohan! She was awesome, she’s so fun! Sometimes you feel like with celebrities they have this kind of persona that suggests they don’t want to talk, but she is just on-point. She’s funny, she’s approachable and doesn’t mind suggestions, for example she’ll say, “Oh I’ve never seen that”, but she is just awesome, I love her. Anne Hathaway came in and I love that girl too, she looked amazing. She came in with her husband and I’m just thinking: this is the girl from The Devil Wears Prada, I know this movie off by heart and I literally love her.

Shop Omar’s Liberty edit.

Tune in to Channel 4 to watch the next episode of Liberty of London 9pm Wednesdays. Join the conversation on Twitter @LibertyLondon #LibertyofLondon.

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Liberty of London: Meet Liz Silvester

Wednesday 12th November 2014, 17.45






Meet Liz Silvester, Liberty’s Head of Visual Identity.

Liz-Silvester

As season 2 premieres, we meet the staff at Liberty. We’re chatting to Liz Silvester about joining the team, debuting in the second season of Liberty of London, and the ideas behind this year’s Christmas campaign: The Store That Launched 1,000 Gifts.

What does your position at Liberty involve?
As Head of Visual Identity, I look after the way the store looks; everything from the windows and the creative displays to the colour of the shop walls, the fixtures we use to display, and the way that we display things throughout the whole of Liberty. I also look after Liberty the brand, the way Liberty is seen globally.

How long have you worked for Liberty?
5 months. I started June 2nd so I’m a newbie. Working as Head of Visual Identity at Liberty is my dream job.

How do you feel about being on Liberty of London?
Nervous. Nervous what people will think of me! I feel very proud to show the work and brilliance of my team. I’m really very excited to see how all of the work that myself and the team have done comes across, and see what the British public think.

What is it like working at Liberty?
Amazing, absolutely amazing. For me it feels like being at home, being surrounded by a lot of very, very genuine, lovely people, that are like-minded, intelligent and super creative. And that’s what’s important to me.

How did this year’s Christmas theme, The Store That Launched 1,000 Ships, come about?
We wanted to use something that evoked the history and heritage of Liberty, and the Liberty store we shop in is made out of two ships. Arthur Liberty, our founder, was famous for bringing back treasures and exotic items from the east on boats. So it’s quite a romantic idea that gifts are being shipped in, there’s the element that treasures can be found at Liberty. In addition to this, there’s the phrase from Helen of Troy, “Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?” and we subverted it to mean, The Store That Launched 1,000 Gifts, as a Christmas message. It’s a myth and mythical stories at Christmastime are a magical thing: they are important to families and the magic of Christmas.

The huge Liberty print sails look absolutely stunning – have you had any nice comments from customers?
There have been a lot of incredible comments about the Strawberry Thief print mast. One of the nicest things is that the staff have said it feels like it’s been here forever, as it’s so well-suited to the building. I’m really proud of the fact that, although it’s a prop, we’ve colour-toned it and it now blends in as part of the architecture. From a customer experience it’s the biggest thing we’ve ever built in the central atrium, and customers will crowd around taking photos of themselves in front of it, looking up in awe. I’m unbelievably delighted with how it came off.

How did you choose the Strawberry Thief print?
The Strawberry Thief pattern was chosen specifically because it was heritage, William Morris Liberty print, and it has been used as our Flowers of Liberty Christmas food packaging. Everything from mince pies to special Christmas chocolates, are all packaged in traditional Christmas red and green Strawberry Thief print. You can buy it in a roll in the fabrics department and make your own Christmas adornments if you want!

What do you think the next year has in store for Liberty from a visual point of view?
People say that in Visual Merchandising that you’re only as good as your last project. So you’ve always got to think of something better. That goes for me and the whole of the team. My vision for Liberty is to make it feel like the house of Liberty. What I hope to achieve, and it will take a few years to do it, is to connect with what I believe the British public know Liberty as, and that is through its amazing collaborative history with the arts and its main archive of prints. I would like to create a Liberty lifestyle environment which feels homely and warm across the whole building; so it knits it all together and Liberty can be experienced in a different way.

Shop Liz’s Liberty edit.

Tune in to Channel 4 to watch Liberty of London, 9pm GMT, Wednesdays. Join the conversation on Twitter @LibertyLondon #LibertyofLondon.

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Liberty of London: Meet Ed Burstell

Wednesday 12th November 2014, 17.45






Meet Ed Burstell, Managing Director at Liberty London.

Ed-Burstell-s2

After much anticipation, season 2 of Liberty of London has arrived, so we’ve decided to meet the staff at Liberty and find out a little more about starring in the show. We chat to Ed about the series, the impact the first season had on the company and what the future holds for Liberty.

You’ve brought the company a long way since you began in 2008, what has been your favourite moment so far?
My favourite Liberty moment has to be last year when the first episode of season one of Liberty London was aired. I was SO proud to be part of it all!

What changes have happened since the last season of Liberty of London?
In terms of team changes, Louis Matthewman was promoted to Marketing Officer, Kate Brindley was promoted to Head of Press and Marketing and Liz Silvester has arrived as Head of Visual Merchandising.

And how does this year’s show differ?
I think it’s the character development – the new series shows how it’s all a team effort, following the business of fashion as well as fabrics and the open call. I also think our profile has changed. We’d never change our DNA but far more people have discovered and rediscovered Liberty thanks to Liberty of London!

Will there be a season 3 Liberty of London?
Season 3 will depend on the viewers. But of course if there is enough interest we’d be totally up for it. As you know this business is FULL of characters.

Besides that, what do you see in the future for Liberty?
This coming year we will re-space and redistribute the entire building, making any changes that need to happen as a reaction to business. We’re also hoping to develop the roof for a club or restaurant. And this year we are excited to celebrate our 140th birthday!

Shop Ed’s Liberty edit.

Tune in to Channel 4 to watch Liberty of London, 9pm GMT, Wednesdays. Join the conversation on Twitter @LibertyLondon #LibertyofLondon.

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