Welcome back the most sought-after sportswear collaboration in fashion – the next Liberty print Nike collection has arrived!
Returning once again for another season, the hotly anticipated Spring/ Summer 2014 Nike X Liberty print trainers collection will be available to buy online and in-store from Monday 7 April.
The new collection features some of Nike’s most celebrated footwear and apparel styles transformed by an array of timeless Liberty London floral prints.
Anoosha, a 1930’s print featuring blossom and bell flowers; Lora a print based on a 1970s version of William Morris’ ‘Willow’ pattern; and Crown a design based on various paisley block prints from Liberty’s Merton print works from the late 19th to early 20th Century are three of the prints used for this new collection.
Take your pick from the collection, which includes the Liberty print Nike Air Max 1 trainers, Air Max 90s, Roshe Runs. For the first time, vintage running favourite the Internationalist receives a Liberty makeover, as do basketball classics, the Blazer and the Dunk Sky Hi.
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.
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.
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.
Register here for We Own the Night and run alongside teams from Liberty, Alex Monroe and many others.
Join us as we explore the history of the dress fabric prints featured in the latest Nike X Liberty collaboration
Whilst we wait with baited breath for the arrival of Nike X Liberty’s latest collection of printed footwear, we turn our attention to the iconic designs featured in the new SS14 range. Some of Nike’s most famous styles have been adorned with seasonal floral and paisley patterns, including the Nike Air Max, Internationalist and Dunk Sky Hi trainers. Though all three signature prints used have been given a modern, fresh blue colourway, this collection of patterns is steeped in Liberty’s design history. Lora, Anoosha and Crown are all either based on, or inspired by the rich heritage found in the Liberty archives. With references to the Aesthetic and Art Deco movements, these decorative designs hark back to a by-gone era, yet play up to some of this season’s hottest trends. Invest in these patterns to ease yourself into the oriental, floral and folk aesthetics synonymous with the SS14 trends.
Lora is based on William Morris’ prolific Willow design from 1874. Appealing to followers of the Aesthetic Movement, this print featured a repeated leaf pattern which was then applied to a range of wallpapers for interior decoration. The theme of the Willow tree and its leaves appears frequently in the oriental inspired objet d’art and furniture of the time. This pull to the East was an attempt to inject new life into the abhorred cheery, chocolate box homewares of the Victorian age, with beauty in nature a prominent visual theme throughout the movement. Liberty’s re-worked 1970s version, used in the Nike collaboration, is reminiscent of the blue and white china that became so popular in the 19th Century. It refers to the Chinoiserie designs of a different time, yet is very in keeping with summer’s fascination with all things Oriental.
Anoosha, originally Floral Blotch, is a typical 1930s floral, completed at Liberty’s Merton Abbey Mills print works. This small, stylised trail print is a good example of the designs of the time, when floral prints of this kind held prominence in women’s fashion. A more free-form style was adopted to produce designs closely allied with the Art Deco movement. Art Deco aimed to move away from more traditional, realistic representations of nature in an attempt to revise existing, outdated ideas about design. Women’s fashion at the time had revisited the romantic, with focus firmly back on the waist, and a neo-classical female figure. This transition can be attributed to the sombre mood the Depression, and was an attempt to regain some of the traditional values lost in the decadent 1920s. Emphasis was placed on the great outdoors and healthy living, with fashion focussed on a range of wearable “sportswear” pieces. Today, you can celebrate this rich heritage with Nike’s Anoosha print trainers, whilst embracing the romantic and sports-luxe trends of the season.
Crown is based on various paisley-style block prints discovered in the Liberty archive. The Paisley motif originates from Persia and India, and has been documented to represent a stylised floral and cypress tree pattern. A symbol of life, a guardian against evil, and a representation of rebellion, this pattern has long been prominent in world-wide fashion history. Imports from colonised India in the 18th and 19th centuries, sparked an obsession amongst the British, which has remained throughout the decades. Notably, this instantly recognisable pattern was closely linked to the psychedelic hippy culture of the late 1960s and 1970s, whose followers turned to the east for spiritual succour and discovery. Today these designs are prevalent in this year’s folklore trend. Revel in this aesthetic with the patchwork and solid designs featured in Nike X Liberty’s new collection.
Shop the SS14 Nike Liberty collection from 7th April 2014, in store and online.
Discover Richard E Grant’s ‘signature in scent’, JACK perfume.
A labour of love and the realising of a lifelong passion, Richard E Grant has launched a new perfume, JACK. As a much in demand actor, writer and director, his head-first dive into the world of scent has been as intriguing as the finished product. We caught up with the man himself to get an insight into the notes, noses and David-and-Goliath style challenges of becoming a perfumer.
Who have you found the most inspirational from your perfume-making journey?
I have been shown such astonishing generosity during the past two years, none more so than from Anya Hindmarch, who first saw me with my head in a gardenia bush in the Caribbean and asked if I had ever thought of creating a fragrance, noticing that I ‘missiled’ my nose to everything in sight. Anya put me in touch with key people and has always encouraged, supported and advised me along the way, whenever I have wavered in my faith or been faced with obstacles.
Marigay Mckee also put me in contact with Roja Dove who ‘educated’ me by testing my nose on a huge variety of oils to get a sense of my ‘palette’. He has ceaselessly advised, cajoled and encouraged me to pursue my dream of producing a scent. Catherine Mitchell at IFF took me on and arranged for me to meet Gina Ritchie and Sarah Coonan at Liberty, who offered to give JACK an exclusive year-long deal, based on my describing the perfume I wanted to create and the quintessentially British styled packaging I had sketched out. They were prepared to take a leap of faith which was crucial in creating the JACK brand. ‘Nose’ Alienor Massenet who transformed my amateur passion into a professional perfume is the person with whom I’ve been able to share my lifelong compulsion to sniff everything, without laughing me out of the room!
What’s the most important thing you discovered about the world of scent?
Anya Hindmarch and Lyn Harris both advised me that ‘Passion is everything. It cannot be faked and this will sustain you through the tough times which you will inevitably face’. All of which has proved to be true, especially when an American ‘Goliath’ sized company sued me for the brand name JACK claiming it to be too like one of their products. The protracted and costly legalese sorely tested my faith, but mercifully they withdrew their suit at the 11th hour and I won the trademark ‘battle’. Perseverance and passion is required on a daily basis. As it’s entirely self-financed, I’ve learnt very quickly that detail is everything and to triple crosscheck every single aspect of the business.
Did you have a clear idea of the scent that you wanted before you started experimenting, or did it evolve slowly?
When I met professional ‘Nose’ Alienor Massenet, I un-pocketed my favourite ingredients onto a restaurant table which included lime, marijuana leaves, mandarin, vetiver grass, pepper, and gardenia petals, which gave her a very clear idea of the earthy, citrusy scent I had dreamt of combining.
Alienor then sent me samples over a period of months which I tested on the Liberty perfume selling team for their expert advice and input, to ensure that it didn’t replicate or remind them of a perfume already in existence. Bev, Ruth, Stuart and Gerry (Liberty’s fragrance team) were ruthlessly honest and along with my friends whom I ‘nose’ tested, we reduced it to a shortlist. Then in the middle of the night, I had a ‘Eureka’ moment when I mixed two of these ‘almost but not quite’ favourites and knew that this was JACK. Alienor obliged and created the formula.
Did you have to sacrifice any favourite smells along the way in order to get the perfect blend?
As Gardenia has proved historically impossible to extract and is therefore always a synthetic, I had to forgo trying to bottle its lightning-like power, but I wanted to create a perfume that had its heady, hypnotic qualities.
How does creating a perfume rank with your acting, writing and directing achievements?
Starting a business has been the real challenge, as I failed all my maths at school, so the bean counting aspects have almost done my head in. However, when it’s your own money, you learn very fast to sniff out who is trying to rip you off. It best equates with my experience of writing and directing my autobiographical film WAH-WAH – everything is personal. All the ingredients are sense and memory ‘triggers’ and I believe that only by making something acutely personal, can you hope to create an original. Every choice and decision, no matter how informed by expert guidance, is yours, so there is no place to ‘hide’. Which leaves you very vulnerable to criticism on the one hand, but also hugely rewarded when it is endorsed and praised on the other. Like acting, you are constantly told you won’t succeed when you start out and similarly many people were very sceptical about my embarking in the perfume business. In the last month prior to launch date, it’s felt a bit like being a migrating wildebeest attempting to navigate across the croc-infested Mara river, wondering whether I will make it to the other side in tact, as everyone wants a piece of flesh!
Who do you see wearing your scent?
From experience, I know that people generally remain loyal to a brand from a very young age, and I am no exception. The scent you choose when you’re a teenager or twenty-something is so bound up with your burgeoning sexuality and need to establish your own identity, that I hope my unisex scent finds favour with the exceptionally brand savvy young generation who aren’t bound by the traditional divisions between what is perceived as masculine or feminine.
How does the Liberty heritage complement your brand?
Liberty is a unique, stand-alone store that is famed for its individuality and great personal service. Not being on every high street ensures that you will find things here that can’t be found anywhere else. Idiosyncratic and individualistic, it is the perfect partner for my quintessentially British JACK brand. Everything worthwhile in Life is personal and the attention to detail at Liberty transmits to the customer. You experience the benefit of the ‘edit’ that the creative team who run Liberty make when you discover the variety of unique things to buy.
How does JACK perfume make you feel when you wear it yourself?
I have always believed that scent is a key part of your invisible wardrobe, armour and identity. If you’re feeling less than confident, smelling good instantly makes you feel better. Our sense of smell is the shortest synaptic leap in the brain to our memory and wearing JACK makes me feel ‘complete’ and confident. The reaction it engenders from friends and total strangers has been unequivocally positive. What more of JACK could I ask for?
Where do you see your perfume brand going in the future?
Like cooks who constantly think of mixing different ingredients, I am always dreaming of scent combinations and have big plans to expand the JACK brand if it finds favour with customers. I am currently developing a JACK candle and room diffuser in time for Christmas as well as a second perfume to launch next year.
Jack perfume is available to buy exclusively at Liberty