The story of Liberty's is the story of design. The brand has been an international byword for style and innovation since May 1875, when Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened the doors of his Regent Steet shop. The son of a draper, Arthur Liberty (1843-1917) was inspired by the conviction that if he could only raise the capital to open his own shop, he could change the whole look of fashion in dress and interior decoration. He did exactly that. With an impressive ability to spot talent and to promote good, innovative and interesting design, Liberty's shop quickly became the epicentre of London's Aesthetic movement, the place where Oscar Wilde bought Japanese silk. Succesive movements found a home at Liberty's: Arts and Crafts; Art Nouveau; Art Deco; and the Georgian revival. The work of almost all the great designers of the past century in the fields of glass, metalwork, furniture, ceramics, fashion and, above all, textiles has appeared under the Liberty label. In this book Martin Wood tells the story of Liberty's, its design and its designers: from the pewter and silverware of Archibald Knox and the Silver Studio and William DeMorgan's tiles to the fabrics of Lucienne Day, Sonia Delaunay and Bernard Nevill and the furniture of Piero Fornasetti, Vico Magistretti and even Ringo Starr.
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