loving liberty

William Morris is the owner of my favorite quote.  To paraphrase, he said to ‘surround yourself with things that are both beautiful and practical.’ Liberty fabrics are most certainly beautiful.With their incredible timeless quality they have been used for clothing and upholstery for nearly 140 years in some form or another.  Another generation is discovering them from themselves, little knowing that many of us have loved them for the longest time. I had a friend over for dinner the other night and she was talking about the pajamas she and her sister had owned as small girls – and that it was so nostalgic to see the pattern being used again in a range of products now – especially the Doctor Martens (now there is something practical). So I have included both clothing and upholstery fabrics – and where to get them here in New Zealand.  They may feel new, but you have been able to get them for many years here.

The most obvious collaboration is with Doctor Martens. The boots and shoes are just beautiful. The collaboration is called Wild Nature and the most iconic of the fabrics is the Strawberry Thief – so very well-known. With the boots retailing at $439, they are investment pieces but I imagine the collaboration will be one that will become quite iconic and as with their floral boot that they have done in various guises over many years, it will simply be one more of DMs own trends. The boots are available at CLASH boutiques in Newmarket Auckland and also in Christchurch. They have also done the satchel which isn’t available here in New Zealand but can be found on the Doctor Marten website in the US which delivers to New Zealand from what I understand.  The small satchel is US$230 and the large one US$310.  Again, investment pieces that I imagine will be around for a while.

While we are talking about shoes, another collaboration is with Melissa shoes, – the pretty pink floral numbers are available from MADE in Auckland. They were $129 but are now $90 in their sale. They are a reasonable way to inject the Liberty vibe into your wardrobe. They come in both pink and in a blue floral.

MADE also stocks the Sessun label with their pretty blazers around the $230 mark, liberty print dresses and pants.

If it just the fabric you are wanting, boltofcloth.co.nz in Christchurch carry a collaboration between the wonderful American designer Kaffe Fassett and Liberty.  At $29.95 per metre in can be bought on-line or inshore. This particular deconstructed  paisley has a sort of ‘mulberry’ fabrics opulence to it. Open fireplaces, and old leather sofas stacked with cushions and warm jewel colours… lovely.

Madder & Rouge have made up some gorgeous Liberty cushions ranging in price from $98 to $129 – they have a lovely softness about them, perfect for a battered old beach house or a child’s room. Or to soften the more minimalist home.

When you are wanting Liberty for patchwork or for sewing, christabels.co.nz 86 Kopanga Road Havelock North stocks Liberty Tana Lawn, Liberty Kinly Cord, Liberty Twill and Liberty Varuna Wool.  At around @$50 per metre, there is a large range to choose from – either in-store or online.

Liberty Betsy

If you ever get the chance to visit London, or you are on your OE, Libertys in London is a must-go-visit. It was one of my most favorite shops to visit when we lived there, I just loved roaming all the different floors, with designer clothing, interiors, exquisite haberdashery and beautiful jewelry. I still have a gorgeous black velvet (what other colour was it going to be) scarf that I still use nearly 20 years after I bought it. The store was first opened in 1875 by Arthur Liberty and then he started producing silk printed fabrics the following year, followed by wools and cottons in 1904. Still produced today, their archives are extensive and continue to inspire creatives all these years later.



2 Comments on “loving liberty

  1. Welcome back! I’ll check the sites out for fabrics as I’m about to line the inside of an old armoire… I used to love visiting Libertys also, albeit with a backpacker budget it was just a visit:) Mel

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