Liberty Exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London

As you might have gathered from some of my previous posts, my textile chum and I have regular trips here, there and everywhere in search of the latest inspiration in pattern and cloth.

We both dabble in embroidery and felt-making. I have a background in patchwork and quilting and my chum is a tailoress.  Every now and again we come across an exhibition that enthrals and captivates us. The Liberty exhibition ticked all the boxes. The Fashion and Textile Museum’s fabulously high ceilings and interchangeable space was arranged to display the pieces beautifully. Many of its previous textile exhibitions haven’t been behind glass enabling visitors to see each garment up close. The Liberty Exhibition was no exception. You could see every stitch, texture and surface embellishment unhindered so the true beauty of the fabric shone through.
We were taken on a journey through time from the Court Dresses of the 1900’s, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Swinging 60’s through to Liberty in 2016.
Here is a just a flavour of the exhibition – enjoy.
1900-1910 Court Dress and Afternoon Dress, Spitalfields Silk Brocade
Early 1900’s Kimono Style
Embroidered detail – Kimono Style garment
1910 -1920 A celebration and revival of the art of Smocking 
Smocking detail
Smocking detail and Dorset Buttons
1930-1940 Silk, Cotton.
Garments mainly made by dressmakers, but some are beginning to be commercially made.
1950’s A revival in Art Nouveau patterns.
The Swinging 60’s. Influence by the pattern of Art Deco.
Cotton, Cotton voile, Cotton Velveteen, wool, Tana Lawn.
1970’s Nostalia. Tana Lawn
1970’s – Silk, cotton, velveteen, wool.
1999 – Collaboration with Jimmy Choo
Liberty in 2016
 The photos capture the essence of the exhibition which finishes at the end of February 2016. I can definitely recommend a visit – especially for the Liberty fans out there.

An Evening of Christmas Shopping in London’s West End & Paddington Bear too!

My earliest memory of Christmas shopping in London harks back to the late 1970’s. I was about 7 years old and it was my first ever visit to Liberty. Walking through the large wooden porch I saw the biggest Christmas tree I had ever seen. It filled the whole central atrium with the light and fragrance of Christmas. Since then, Liberty has had a very special place in my heart.
This year the magic continues with a nautical feel harking back to the building’s timber construction – created from the reclaimed wood of two ships – HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan.  Here are some pictures of the fabulous store’s festive ship’s mast.


Liberty print fabric sails and gifts in the crows nest
The crisp, clear air and the hustle and bustle along Oxford Street created the perfect atmosphere to set off the stunning Christmas lights along each major shopping street in the West End. I adore the individuality of each street which is reflected in their choice of lights. Carnaby Street has very retro look compared to the more refined lighting of New Bond Street.
Carnaby Street
A street off Carnaby Street


The famous Hamleys toy shop on Regent Street
New Bond Street
Boots on Oxford Street
St Christopher Place
Selfridges on Oxford Street
House of Fraser and John Lewis stores in Oxford Street


The Barbara Hepworth sculpture lit up on the John Lewis Building
A beautifully beaded catwalk piece on show in Victoria’s Secret
To make the trip even more special, Selfridges had a lovely little Paddington Bear pop-up shop displaying the movie costumes of Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville), Mrs Brown (Sally Hawkins) and Mrs Bird (Julie Walters) ……
Mrs Brown (played by Sally Hawkins)
Mrs Bird (played by Julie Walters)
Mr Brown (played by Hugh Bonneville)


                            ………and of course Paddington Bears for sale.