Just as Audrey Hepburn famously declared that she was “simply crazy about Tiffany’s”, I’m equally crazy about the Liberty store in Carnaby Street, London. For a few years now its been an annual tradition for me, my mum and my sister to go there in our Sunday best for hours of window shopping, followed by tea and cake in one of its’ tearooms. And it really does take hours to fully do the rounds. If you’ve never been before, it’s worth the train into London – it’s a huge, grand, multi-storey building full of beautiful things to gawp at, from hand-made jewellery, stationary and clothes, to chandeliers, rugs and other homeware. Unfortunately I’m not really to be trusted on the higher floors where the most expensive items are kept, because I’m so clumsy (if I remember correctly, last time I was there I almost knocked over a crystal bowl worth about £1,000 with my bag). However, whilst many of the items on sale in Liberty are way beyond any budget of us little folk, you can still pick up something in one of their iconic prints for a reasonable price.
The famous Liberty prints, which have been in production since the 1960s, are a riotous explosion of psychelic paisleys that have never gone out of fashion; they’re completely evocative of the spirit of 1960s Carnaby Street, one of the most famous sites in London. Even a little piece from Liberty is an exciting splash of colour – some of my favourites of their smaller, more affordable pieces were their luggage tags, keyrings and notebooks (I’m a sucker for a pretty notebook) in the shop’s unmistakeable prints and patterns. My personal favourite out of their prints was the pink peacock-fan print, as I felt girly and summery just looking at it.
If you want to inject some Liberty-style splashes of colour into your life, look at the gallery below for the best of their little bits, perfect for a Carnaby girl on a budget.