Liberty: Art Fabrics & Fashion – in Edinburgh until January 12, 2018


The exhibition opens to the public today at the Dovecot Gallery in Edinburgh and presenting more than 100 Liberty items. It is part of a touring exhibition originally presented at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London with the aim to celebrate how textiles bring art into everyday life.

Liberty’s fashion aesthetic had a great influence throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Such is the fame of ‘Liberty Art Fabrics’ that in late 19th century Italy the Art Nouveau style became known as the Stile Liberty. Beyond Art Nouveau, it also influenced Aestheticism, Bauhaus, Pop and Psychedelia, amongst others. Liberty art fabrics have had an impact on fashion since 1875 and this retrospective celebrates the innovative retailer and design studio Liberty.

The exhibition at Dovecot presents a timeline of bohemia, from the early designs for garments inspired by the Orient, through the artistic dressing popularised by the costumes featured in Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and beyond to the iconic prints of the Swinging Sixties and nostalgic Arts & Crafts revival threads of the 1970s.

The name Liberty has been more closely associated with textiles than with any other product. Throughout its history, Liberty’s studio collaborations with textile and fashion innovators including Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Muir and Cacharel have secured the company’s global reputation as the source and originator of key trends and design revivals.

Liberty is one of the last great emporiums for innovative and eclectic design. Founded by Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty, it remains to this day the destination of choice of the savvy and sophisticated shopper. Liberty’s intuitive vision and pioneering spirit led him to travel the world looking for individual pieces to inspire and excite his discerning clientele. At the Liberty store today in London, customers can explore five floors of fashion, beauty, accessories, homeware and furniture which combine the rich heritage with the cutting edge and avant-garde style.

Arthur Lasenby Liberty’s visionary store was established in London in 1875 selling dyed silk fabrics from the Far East, but quickly expanded to become the destination of choice for the discerning fashion buyer. As the Arts & Crafts movement in Britain went international, Liberty traded in imported woven goods, wools and silks from Asia, attracting the attention of artists and innovators of the time including William Morris, Oscar Wilde and Edward Burne-Jones.

Unlike Morris, Liberty believed that using industrialised methods to produce textiles was essential in order to make beautiful things available at an affordable price. It was in the district where Morris’ own workshops at Merton Abbey where Dovecot Studios’ founding weavers were trained, that Liberty established a textile print works. Liberty’s pioneering vision to support British design and craftsmanship extended to engage local textile mills to weave cloth and printing firms to create new colourfast dyes, to replicate the popular fabrics he sourced from overseas.

Location –  Dovecot Studios Ltd, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Price – Adult £9 | Concession £7 (Student, Unemployed, Disabled Person) | Under 16, Disabled Person’s carer or companion FREE.

Picture from the Fashion & Textile Museum.

More detailed information about Pricing and other information (opening hours, Dovecot Studios, …) in the following link. CLICK HERE for a Link for the Press Release by Dovecot Gallery.