06 Dec2016

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While on the topic of trimming trees, I thought folks might be interested in this post on the ornaments at Liberty of London, photos taken on a trip to London a while back, but never posted/published. Liberty is a business that dates back to 1875, and if I am not mistaken, this wonderful old building on Regent Street is just as old as the company, if not older. It amazes me that a structure (much of it wood) has survived for so long, and in a commercial use at that. the creaky, uneven wood floorboards give the place a charm that is hard to replicate in cement and tile malls of the 21st century. It must have survived the horrible bombing of London during the war, and it’s a fascinating building to visit if only for the architecture and history of it.

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While Liberty is best known for its beautiful and classic floral prints on the finest cotton, they have evolved into a full department store of sorts. On this particular visit, I was interested in seeing what was on offer on the Christmas floor, and was quite literally, floored. Wall after wall after wall of Christmas ornaments were just overwhelming, almost like crack for a Christmas decor addict. A lot of it wasn’t of the best quality, and it was incredibly pricey, but for sheer “golpe de gulat” — totally impressive.

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Walls were arranged by color themes like more purple-y hues…

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…to more classic reds and greens…

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…reds and golds…

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…Radko-like, painted blown-glass ornaments…

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…and a whole wall of dogs, cats and other pets.

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In another section, a good selection of Christmas crackers — those wrapped tubes that contain party favors.

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A glimpse of the fabric selection. Liberty of London has apparently been acquired by Japanese buyers, and I have recently seen collaborations between Liberty x Uniqlo that looked nice from afar, but the quality of cotton is a world apart. The kid had wonderful liberty smocked dresses hand-made by her Tita that we keep all wrapped up like little treasures to this day…

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More of that wonderful fabric.

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These piggies caught my eye in another section of the store…

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…as did the Astier de Villatte.

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These piggy mugs also caught my eye, until my eyes went wide open at the glasses that were on either side?! How odd are they?! :)

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The next time you visit London around the holidays (a phenomenal time to be in the city, btw), make sure to check out Liberty of London, and their Christmas floor in particular!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Natie says:

    So, did you buy the piggy mugs?. Every time I see anything Piggy, I think of you. Last October, on a Vegas trip, there was a store selling a full sized grill in the form of a pig– snout, tail, hooves. Baby pink! It could fit a de leche or a smaller pig. Of course, I thought of you.

    Dec 6, 2016 | 12:38 pm

     
  2. Kasseopeia says:

    Those glasses! Did you get a few as gag gifts? :)

    Dec 6, 2016 | 6:40 pm

     
  3. Marketman says:

    Kasseopeia, actually just browsed, didn’t buy anything really…

    Dec 6, 2016 | 11:52 pm

     
  4. Marichu says:

    MM, may I ask you to write up a post on how to look for Christmas ornaments that are of good to high quality. I only remember having put up a Christmas tree once during my childhood and it was a table top tree. So, yeah, I don’t have a lot of experience with ornaments.

    Dec 7, 2016 | 5:33 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Marichu, I have several posts on ornaments, here, here and here. I tend to be biased towards glass ornaments for the long-term, and have purchased pieces over the last 23-25 years, building up a collection of 800+ ornaments. But several of these ornaments are very modestly priced, such as simple red and silver balls that we buy in bulk to give depth to the decorations. Glass and crystal pieces are usually around the outer edges of the tree… Some people do different themes every year. We tend to do variations on a theme over the years…

    Dec 7, 2016 | 7:38 am

     
  6. Marichu says:

    Whoa! Thank you, MM! Your posts gave me lots of ideas. Now to hunt down those ornaments…

    Dec 7, 2016 | 9:10 am

     
  7. E J Buen says:

    Dec 8, 2016 | 10:21 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    E J Buen, thanks for that link, I actually watched the whole episode. And learned that much of the wood used for the stores came from old ships… the kind of retail trivia we all need to know… And now it makes sense that there’s a mast and “sails” in the atrium of the store in the first photo up above! :)

    Dec 8, 2016 | 11:54 pm

     
  9. Footloose says:

    “The very fabric of British life,” if I recall their blurb in the New Yorker accurately. On the other hand, the older women folks in my family specified an American brand for their saya, Bates. Also still around though now their production is limited to bedspreads.

    Dec 10, 2016 | 3:38 am

     
  10. E J says:

    Most welcome, MM! I hope Liberty’s survives for many, many more years.
    On the subject of Christmas decor, you may want to share this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154387770424775&set=p.10154387770424775&type=3

    Dec 12, 2016 | 11:33 pm

     

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