For anyone with an interest in the history of shopping, or just a love of shopping in general, Liberty is a name that will be greeted with more than a touch of reverence. Located in London just off Regent Street, the store is famous for its mock Tudor facade and its beautiful printed fabrics that have been a luxury fashion staple for more than 100 years. Now, in a stunning coffee table book, by Marie-Therese Rieber, the history of the store, and treasures from the archives are explored, with stunning photographs and advertisements that will totally delight any fashion fan this Christmas.
The book is hard cover and has 160 pages and 250 images, making it a real feast for the eyes. It has been produced in collaboration with the store, which it describes as the ‘ultimate boho emporium’. There is also a lot of information too, this is not just a picture book, so you find all about the stores origins through Arthur Liberty, about the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement which Liberty was closely linked to, and of the origins of the Liberty print, and in particular, the now iconic Liberty scarf ( I have a vintage 1960s one that I managed to source through eBAY and now wear tied around my straw bag each Summer.). There are also chapters that look at the fashion of liberty, not just in terms of clothing, but also in terms of homewares, many with an Art Nouveau aesthetic. All are illustrated with both new and archive photographs, mostly in beautiful colour, to make this book a really beautiful piece of art in itself.
I love the use of items from the archive that have been lovingly photographed and reproduced, these include original Liberty posters and Vogue magazine covers. The book also comes right up to date, showing how those beautiful prints are still relevant in 21st century fashion.
If you have a fashion lover in your family, then this could be the perfect Christmas gift. Otherwise, just buy it yourself and pour over it, luxuriating in its absolute beauty.
Liberty:The History costs £25 and you can find it here.