With the weather getting dark and icy and with the yearly arrival of minor ailments and hibernational moods, I decided it was time to take myself on one of my twice yearly sojourns to Liberty to get lost in their cathedral of consumption for a couple of hours. Like many girls of my generation, Liberty is a byword for the beautiful, it is one of those stores that across its four floors still maintains the feel of intimacy in small wood panelled spaces that feel like treasure troves to the particular, whilst collectively encompassing its original conception as a nineteenth century bazaar built on a grand scale, a true example of Zola’s Ladies Paradise.
The store is such a sensory overload, everything is chosen and curated to within an inch of its life, but still there is something chaotic and charming about all the beautiful things on displays and it is quite possible to spend many hours looking and holding a million different kinds of objects of desire.
I am continually astonished by how successfully Liberty manage to update their look and products whilst still maintaining their old world innocence and charm. Only in Liberty would you happen upon original 19th century toy theatre’s from a London museum in display cabinets casually beckoning the eye away from the comparatively mundane selection of Christmas cards they stand next to.
They stock the store so cleverly, there are exorbitant but unique and beautiful pieces for people with large wallets alongside beautiful fabrics bi-annually updated from their archive for the home sewer and also many charming items at obtainable prices for the casual shopper. I bought some beautiful pieces from very chic and accessible Danish company Bloomingville’s new china collection, including this particularly charming creamer for £7 and a wonderfully kitsch white elephant teapot for £14, alongside the Fish’s Eddy tray I’ve had my eye on for some months for £9.95.
It just isn’t possible to visit Liberty in Winter months without spending some considerable time getting lost in their Christmas department. I have a decade long tradition of going with my two best friends and picking out a couple of decorations for each other. Lovely Kathryn is currently away in the far warmer and exotic climbs of Buenos Aires so instead I wandered on my own, here is what I saw in this years Liberty Christmas bonanza:
Final mention goes to my very favourite purchase of the day, this Zoetrope wrapping paper. I don’t own a zoetrope (working on it) but I am totally in love with this and am going to have to find a space to frame it somewhere.