GENERATION NEXT: Liberty London is investing in young talent to maintain its point of difference.
Its latest initiative is a collaboration with three London College of Fashion graduates — Fotini Handra, Joseph Standish and Daniel Pascal Tanner — who were given access to the store’s latest fabric collection and asked to create “directional and contemporary pieces” using the colorful, floral-printed textiles from the new line, called Alpine Symphony.
“It’s important for us to engage with the designers of the future to see how they interpret our collections in fresh and exciting ways,” said Mary-Ann Dunkley, head of design at Liberty London Fabrics. “The Alpine Symphony collection is bursting with exciting potential and gives talented young people a brief to play and explore.”
The result was a range of avant-garde pieces that experiment with volume and the mixing of prints. Pascal Tanner re-created classic floral tea dresses through a more modern lens, with contrasting fabrics and printed corsets layered over them, while Handra focused on darker floral prints and dramatic, oversized silhouettes.
Standish wanted to tell a story of exploration, making florals appropriate for men’s wear by splashing them all over streetwear staples such as puffer jackets and logo tracksuits.
“Liberty caters for the eccentric and that’s someone I like to design for. I like to go into Liberty and really lose myself. This project was a good way to put my handwriting into iconic prints,” said Tanner of the experience.
The pieces will be on display at the store’s haberdashery department from April 20 through May 4, alongside an exhibition documenting the designers’ work.
The British department store has simultaneously launched a pop-up to spotlight the emerging Ukrainian label Lake Studio throughout the month of April.
The young label, designed by Anastasia Riabokon and Olesya Kononova, is best known for its romantic sensibility and signature pieces such as slip dresses and soft tailoring. It started gaining traction last year after Moda Operandi spotlighted the brand as part of its “Platform” initiative, which helps promote young talent.
The brand said that the Moda tie-in “opened the doors to an international online audience” and it’s now ready to further grow its retail footprint, putting more focus on bricks-and-mortar locations in key markets including London, Milan and Shanghai.
Alexandra Gordon, women’s wear buyer at Liberty London, said that she was drawn to the “effortless elegance” of Lake Studio’s spring collection, which can cater to customers looking for dress options for summer weddings.