To celebrate 140 years of the wonderful Eastern bazaar, founded by Arthur Lazenby all those years ago, a new exhibition at the Fashion and Textile museum looks back over the impact of the iconic English shop on British fashions, including Orientalism and Aesthetic dress in the 19th Century, the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau and Art Deco and in the early 20th century, and the revival of these fashions since the 1950s.
Over 150 of the once most fashionable garments, textiles and objects are on display, dating right back to the 19th century, with work by designers Jean Muir, Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Quant, Vivienne Westwood and Arthur Silver of Silver Studio. And if proof of the broad scope of Liberty's influence was needed, visitors will also get to see a 1890s cape from embroidered Chinese shawls and a Liberty patchwork costume used in the 1973 horror film, The Wicker Man.
Most of the outfits come from the largest collection of Liberty prints in the world, owned by Mark Butterfiled, a collection that was recently responsible for the costume worn by Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne in the 2016 film The Danish Girl. The Danish Girl.
Although these beautiful clothes speak volumes of design innovation and craftsmanship, the overall exhibition lacks the majesty of the store itself. The exhibition is more akin to the musty, moth-eaten cupboard of beautiful clothes that you find yourself in before entering Nania itself. The Fashion and Textiles Museum has arranged mannequins with clothes arranged together by era, which do little to add life or excitement to the wonderful clothes on them.
It's an enjoyable exhibition for fashion history fanatics, but lovers of Liberty London may find a trip to the shops more fun.
|What||Liberty in Fashion|
|Where||Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey St, London, SE1 3XF | MAP|
|Nearest tube||London Bridge (underground)|
09 Oct 15 – 28 Feb 16, Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am – 6pm Thursdays until 8pm Sundays, 11am–5pm
|Website||Click here for more information and to book...|