Exploring Liberty's influence on British fashion

Photo credit: Daniel Lewis

The mere mention of Liberty conjures up visions of patterned floral prints, bold colours and classic, elegant design. To celebrate the 140th anniversary of this pioneering retailer and design studio, London's Fashion and Textiles Museum is showcasing over 150 ensembles and accessories in their latest exhibition, Liberty in Fashion. 

Top left: 'Eustacia' print impression, printed at Liberty and Co. Ltd Merton print works, 1960. Top right: Hera. Bottom left:'Whirlygig' print impression, Colleen Farr for Liberty and Co. Ltd 1960. Bottom right: Modern paisely style design by Ceraggio for Liberty and Co. Ltd 1960. All Copyright of Liberty Fabric Limited.

The store was first started by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875 on Regent Street selling coloured silks. "I was determined not to follow existing fashion but to create new ones". The store soon expanded into other products such as furniture and oriental goods.

The exhibition documents the history of the Liberty's unique 'fashion' look, with its role as the source and originator for certain key trends over the years such as Orientalism, through Art Nouveau and Art Deco and the revival of these styles in the 1950's. Curator, Dennis Nothdruft notes "From the earliest imports and the Eastern influenced and artistic dress to present day collaborations, Liberty has occupied a unique place in British fashion".

With the largest number of garments on display since the company's centenary in 1975, including contemporary collaborations with designers like Vivienne Westwood, this exhibition will delight the lover of distinctive textile design.

Liberty in Fashion

9th October - 28th February 2016

Tickets: £9 adults, £7 concessions, £6 students.

The Fashion and Textiles Museum,

83 Bermondsey Street,



Open Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm. Thursday late night til 8pm, Sundays 11am - 5pm