I don’t know what it is about Liberty, the famed London department store on Regent Street. It seems to maintain such a quaint charm whilst constantly striving to nurture new talent and collaborate with established, nay, iconic designers to wonderful effect.
Tiki much?: This scarf by Emma J. Shipley has stolen my heart. At over £250 my heart is likely not to be returned to me anytime soon but will live in the back of some lucky flush soddette’s wardrobe. I’ve noticed on Liberty’s website that Simeon Farrar has been inspired to create some tropical prints so we may be looking at a hot trend.
From the scent of the cut-flowers in the centre entrance to the Gothic Revival wood carvings that seem peek at you in among the goodies on offer, Liberty aims to be something rather special (I didn’t mean to sound like a Worthers Originals Advert there – sorry). It occupies the same space in my affections as Henri Bendell in New York. Girly and high quality.
Kooky prints: This wonderful button print scarf by Faliero Sarto caught my eye and it is darling but at over £200 it is again out of my price range (sigh).
The Gatsby trend is in full steam: this beautiful headdress from Muhlbauer would surely be the centre-piece of any Deco inspired wedding outfit. Obviously Art Deco never goes out of fashion at Liberty.
I ventured inside on Friday, ostensibly to look at the scarves (Liberty is famed for its printed fabrics, having collaborated with artists as diverse as William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Vivienne Westwood over the years).
S’lip up: In the end I figured buying a little old £8.50 lip shine from C.O. Bigelow couldn’t hurt (although it did rather defeat the object of the window shopping expedition). It’s cinnamon and mint flavoured and highly sticky (so not one to wear with your hair loose on a windy day). And OK it is a rip-off for a lip balm but I have been curious to try out some of these products for a while as C.O. Bigelow is the oldest apothecary in the U.S.
Liberty do not take kindly to their merchandise being photographed (so my apologies for the quality of some of these pics – I had to be furtive on this mission of aestheticism) and their staff can be a little imperious. This is probably why I broke my window-shopping vow and came home with a buyers-remorse filled little purple bag of apothecary goods.
This may be the most ridiculous purchase I have made for some time. £24 for a shower cap? Look, this is probably the only Liberty-print item I will ever own and it does make me feel more glamorous in the bath tub even if I look like I’m wearing one of Alfie Moon’s shirts tied around my head (incidentally these can be found in the men’s department).
The great thing about this place is that while you may not be able to afford most of the things on display, you can marvel at them as items in a museum. The spectacle is not unlike Harrods but the wares on display look way more lovingly made.
Last on my Liberty haul was this hair powder by Lulu Organics (£24). The promise of a clary-sage scent and its between-wash degreasing properties was enough to lure me in and I tried it out this morning.To be honest, you’re better off sticking with Batiste which is lighter, way better quality and not to mention a snip of the price. But the packaging and scent mean this will work as dressing-table talc for some time to come.