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Liberty of London Floral Embroidered Silk Maxi Dress, Spring 2020
Founded in 1875, the quintessentially British Liberty of London is known for their iconic Tudor style flagship store and unique luxury goods. Described by Oscar Wilde as the “chosen resort for the artistic shopper," Liberty debuted their first ready-to-wear collection in Spring 2020 to critical acclaim.
The design team was led by Holly Marler, who notably designed for Alexander McQueen early on in her career. “Each piece … tells a story, with the prints informing the silhouette of each garment from the beginning. We wanted to create a ready-to-wear collection for a mind-set rather than an age; a creative, eccentric collector, with a love of beautiful things and an appreciation for the hidden details,” said Marler of the 45-piece collection.
Inspired by the Bloomsbury Set and female surrealist artists from the 30’s, Marler first designed the pieces on a miniature scale, placing the prints on the body of a small doll to ensure the prints looked “as beautiful in motion as they do lying flat”, and the result is nothing short of spectacular. From that collection, this incredible dress enchants and fascinates.
Done in a sheer black silk and fine black tulle mesh, this feminine dress is an exploration of texture, color, and opacity. The black silk sleeves and skirt feature a version of the iconic Liberty Ianthe print, showcasing intertwined green and white vines bursting with small and large flowers in shades of red, pink, violet, and burnt orange, while stripes of bright red are interspersed throughout, adding an unexpected pop of color.
The black tulle bodice is embroidered with bright thread and strategically placed floral appliques at the front and back to match the sinuous Art Nouveau lines of the floral print, albeit on a larger scale.
Size estimate: S/M
Shoulders: 15 inches
Bust: 34 inches
Waist: 28 inches (can stretch to 30 inches)
Hips: 37 inches
Length: 53-63 inches at the back longest point
The dress begins with a high round neckline and puff sleeves, offering a nice juxtaposition to the sheer black tulle bodice, which is embroidered throughout with a winding, intricate floral pattern that follows and emphasizes the natural lines of the body. The vines follow the line of the spine at the back of the bodice, spiraling upward and outward from the low-cut waist, adorned with large and small flowers on each side.
A band of nude mesh at the lower back of the bodice and along the zip closure adds an interesting contrast of color, drawing the eye downwards. The beautifully draped silk skirt falls in panels from an inverted U-shaped waist at the front that lengthens the leg, the ruffled high-low hem pausing a few inches above the ankles at the front, and reaching all the way to the ground at the back. A wearable work of art, this feminine and sensuous gown is the perfect choice for a wedding or special occasion.
This Spring 2020 Liberty of London dress is unlined, and closes with a zip at the back. In excellent condition, this dress has been professionally eco dry cleaned and pressed. High-quality vintage pieces like this are yours to live in and love while increasing in value every year. It’s never too soon to start collecting them, as an investment in your wardrobe—and in yourself.