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27 Jan '17


Posted by Natasha Theodotou


No worthy shopping trip to London is complete without a trip to the Liberty department store that is nestled so beautifully between the ever busy Regent Street and vibrant Carnaby Street. To say that Liberty is an institution on the British high street would be an outrageous understatement. The history of this iconic department store can be so deeply felt every single time I find myself lucky enough to steal a visit. The store itself was completed in 1924 and as is evident still today the design was strongly influenced by the resurgence of Tudor fashion back then. From the warm wooden interior (the timber used to construct the building actually came from two HMS warships), to the fireplaces still in tact and random shields of Shakespeare, what I love the most about this department store is the fact that it almost feels like you're perusing through some random person's estate because of the homely feel of each room.

“Liberty is the chosen resort of the artistic shopper.”
Oscar Wilde

The success and eclecticism of Liberty is all thanks to the daring vision of one man, Arthur Lasenby Liberty (and the £2,000 loan he got from his then father-in-law which was repaid only 18 months later). His aim was to shake up the face of homeware and fashion by bringing influences and products from the Eastern world and this vision is still evident in Liberty products today.

This brings me to the heart of the blog post which is to confess my obsession with Liberty prints, which are world renowned and so iconic that you can recognize their patterns almost instantly. Because of his involvement with the Costume Society back in the 1880's and the fact that Liberty had a Royal Warrant, Arthur Liberty was creating stunning in-house designs in collaboration with other British designers of the time such as William Morris. Some of these early designs are still used today and it is wonderful to see how they have been reinterpreted for the customer of today.

My inspiration for this post however, came about thanks to one piece of clothing which of course I got from one of my rummaging trips at my go to charity shop in London. It features one of my favourite Liberty prints, Ianthe, whose roots stem from the French Art Nouveau designer, R. Beauclair (also one of my favourite design movements). "Ianthe" derives from the Greek words 'ion' and 'anthos' which translates to purple or violet flowers, indicating that the floral design may have originally been drawn based on violets.

Although this shirt is not for sale, we do have this print in a vintage Liberty tie at the shop as well as a selection of other amazing Liberty printed silk & cotton ties. So come down and check them out even if it's just to see the iconic designs up close :)



19 Aug '15


Posted by thecollective blogger in 1950s, carol the movie, cate blanchett, fashion


I've wanted to write a post on Cate for a while now but somehow it got left behind, which in a way is a happy coincidence because there is no better time than the present given that she has a brand spanking new film out. If the teaser trailer and photos are anything to go by, which are both rather amazing, then this is set to be one fabulous visual feast and we can not wait for it to come out! Ms. Blanchett is starring in Carol, the screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel 'The Price of Salt' and it is probably the only film that has me genuinely excited this year. Not only because it will be Cate doing what Cate does best (i.e. rocking the socks off her acting credibility) but also because it is set in 1950's New York which means taking one of the chicest eras in history and setting it against the glamorous backdrop of one of the greatest cities in the world.

The minute I laid eyes on the absolutely stunning teaser photos I instantaneously fell in love - the hair, the hats, the jewels, the nipped in waists, the refined effortless glamour - all the aspects that made the 50's such a gloriously rich era fashion wise.

If like us you are a fan of this decade and in need of some inspiration then fear not, I have compiled our favourite pieces to help you emulate the look!



16 May '15


Posted by thecollective blogger in blue


The one thing synonymous with summer is the beach and with it comes the deep blue sea, a bright blue sky and summer looks that sizzle! If you think about it, blue is quite the generic colour in that we come across it a lot in daily life. Blue jeans, blue sky, blue sea, blue pens. It is also a colour that is easy to wear - not scary or outrageous in any way and almost a fail safe alternative to black. However, come across the right tone of blue and it's a completely different story!

Jardin Majorelle, Morocco  /  Jean Paul Gaultier Vintage Corset Top

Vincent Van Gogh, 'Irises'Vintage 'Iris' Earrings

Peniche, Portugal Vintage 'Rita' Trousers

London Sky Vintage 'Waves' 2 Piece Jacket and Dress

01 May '15


Posted by thecollective blogger in stairs, tim walker


You may remember that last month I did a post on the incredible photographer Tim Walker and one of my favourite pieces of his is this photo featuring model Lily Cole sitting on a spiral staircase wearing an ethereal blue gown with a breathtakingly long train. Everything about this picture is perfection, from the composition to the pastel colours and of course I have a thing for old buildings so that's a bonus, but despite all of that the stand out feature for us is the beautifully intricate iron staircase.

So I guess I not only have a thing for old buildings, I also have a massive obsession with interesting staircases, especially spiral ones, and the funny thing is that when looking back at some of my holiday snaps today from countries all over the world I seem to almost always have a picture (or two) of staircases.

04 Apr '15


Posted by thecollective blogger in tim walker


So if you follow this blog you would know that I once wrote a post about one of my favourite designers entitled Dame Viv for Queen! Well I couldn't very well leave the queen of eccentricity without a king (*disclaimer - this obviously is not a literal observation but let us just say that if these two had got together and had babies and they grew up to follow in their parents footsteps then the world would be a much better place filled with dyed lambs dressed in crazy outfits!)

Tim Walker portrait of Vivienne Westwood

What Viv does to clothes Tim Walker does to photos and although he has been known as a fashion photographer for over 15 years now, to me he is so much more than that. There are fashion photographers out there who focus too much on the selling principle of a photo and while the clothes and composition may still come out looking stunning, Walker manages to go that step further and transport the viewer into a whole different world . “To me, a photograph is far stronger when something is suggested rather than defined. If you define it there is nowhere for your imagination to go.” There is too much emphasis these days in magazines on selling the product, pushing more and more ads and images in people's faces, that sometimes the artistry and imagination that magazines were pioneered for when they first appeared has somehow been lost. This is why when a creative mind such as Tim Walker comes along and puts his touch on an editorial spread you know that something magical is about to unfold, and suddenly an afternoon of casually flipping through a magazine turns into a wonderful adventure through the mind of a genius.

As children we have the best imaginations and to be able to reach that far back to create such whimsical sets and characters is no mean feat. It is no surprise then that Walker's work is heavily influenced by children's books, particularly Alice in Wonderland. “I think Alice In Wonderland will always run in my head: the idea of the girl who falls asleep, tumbles in to a dream world and has to find her way out. It’s the best – the trippiness and the idea of the girl as the heroine. Every girl or boy I photograph is Alice.”




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