Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Prints Charming...

When Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto opened the newly revamped Liberty store on the 15th February, it marked the beginning of a new era in the iconic label's history. Whilst Liberty prints have in the past suffered from associations with mums and curtains, Kirstie Carey, managing director of Liberty fabric, has commissioned collaborations with a number of high-profile artists who have been busy designing new prints. Grayson Perry's alter ego, Claire, has graced the collection with a print featuring bicycles, and one inspired by the BBC period drama Cranford. Kirstie explains how 'this collaboration is a fantastic representation of how we reinforce our identity through both old and new ideas'.

Opening in 1875, Liberty began creating floral prints son afterwards, enlisting prolific artists of the time including Aubrey Beardsley, Paul Poiret and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. By the 1960s, designers like Mary Quant and Jean Muir had incorporated the prints into their work, to be followed by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Paul Smith who featured the trend in later years. Last year Cacharel marked its 50th anniversary with a Liberty print collection, copies of which will be in store in March. Sports brand Nike have produced Liberty print trainers in 3 styles; patchwork Dunks, Nina and Phoebe Blazers-but the popularity of the limited edition collection meant they sold out almost immediately. Finally joining Web 2.0, Liberty prints now has a facebook page; joining meant being being the first to find out when a new batch of the Nike stock came in on Saturday morning-if they've all sold out already too you can make a final stab at getting some through the competition on the website.

Floral fans amongst you have probably already noticed the Liberty print range of camis and knickers in Topshop- these are a forerunner to a number of pieces in the upcoming Kate Moss collection. Poppy, Kate Nouveau and Lilabell (named after Kate's daughter) are the prints that Kate's been working with- the final products will be on sale 2nd April-I've got my eye on the dreamy, full length, Lilabell dress. A capsule collection in floral prints is also on the way from A.P.C. due to hit the store in May.

And if there still isn't anything that takes your fancy, why not just buy up some fabric and make your own creation?Liberty Stitch runs various craft workshops, including a number of 'Learn to Sew with Stephanie Vickers' sessions throughout May and June. Just in time to make the perfect, floral, summer dress.

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