Last week I visited the Design and Textile Museum, near London Bridge and viewed the Liberty in Fashion exhibition. As a super fan of Liberty I found this exhibition incredibly interesting to view the evolution of fashion since 1875 interpreted by Liberty who’s main goal was to provide fashionable items for its wealthy customers.
Liberty was first opened by Arthur Liberty after he had learnt the skills of acquiring exotic and eclectic goods from around the world in his first job at Farmer and Rogers Great Cloak and Shawl Emporium in Regent Street. The exhibition shows a handful of clothing pieces from each fashion era and comments on how Arthur interpreted the trends to increase his business. For example in the early years Arthur realised the his clientèle’s want of all things Japanese as the market flooded with items from this exotic location so he expanded Liberty’s collection sourcing from a number of countries foreseeing a change trends his competitors did not.
As you wander the exhibition it is clear that Liberty’s well known flower patterns have stood the test of time as they are revived with the latest colourways moving from the original darker prints of the 20’s to more romantic pastels in the 30’s. The Tana Lawn is one of Liberty’s most iconic fabric names and I learnt that the name of my favourites comes from Africa, Lake Tana, where the cotton from the fabric was originally sourced.
This is a great couple of hours spent with girlfriends and there were plenty of groups making their way through the exhibition including a hens! Afterwards you can choose to support the museum and eat at their cafe or wander the nearly streets of Bermondsey for afternoon tea or lunch. The exhibition finishes at the end of February and you do need to purchase tickets for a preset time to enter.
Have you been to this exhibition? What was your favourite dress? What museums are you going to next?