AW23 A Liberty Odyssey

     ODYSSEY | A long, eventful, adventurous journey or experience…

    For Autumn/Winter 2023, A Liberty Odyssey invites us on a voyage inspired by early storytelling – the ancient myths and legends of classical antiquity. Drawing from the rich symbolism and captivating iconography of mythic narrative to explore Liberty’s own heritage of storytelling through art and design, the collection takes influence from the epic tales of gods and goddesses, monsters and heroes, which have continued to ignite the imaginations of artists and poets for millennia.

     Split into four stories, the collection covers Classical inspirations as well as three elemental stories of Earth, Universe and Oceans. Our journey takes us over woodland and snow-tipped mountains to celebrate the vitality and bounty of the Earth, before soaring up into the rosy heavens to dwell among twinkling stars and golden clouds, interspersed with flashes of lightning. Finally, the last story sees us diving down into the inky depths of oceanic worlds – all connected by a golden thread of magic and wonder, through the power of mythic storytelling.

    The Classical story offers a celebration of the arts and crafts found from antiquity to neoclassicism, inspired by stories of Greek and Roman myth and interpreted through a vibrant contemporary lens.

    Ancient architectural female figures of caryatids are given a Pop Art twist, appearing alongside designs influenced by pottery fragments, mosaics and exquisite stonemasonry – with the personification of creative inspiration, the Muse herself, emerging in a bold and graphic form. Motifs such as pomegranate, myrtle and peacock feather hint at wider mythic narratives, tying subtly into Liberty’s own artistic heritage.

    Look to the heavens – the Universe story transports us up above the clouds, into a glittering sky populated by formidable deities. Reflecting the enduring symbolic power of stories to explain the world around us, these designs capture a realm of fierce passion and drama – where lightning bolts strike down and Cupid’s infamous arrow takes aim, as love letters are delivered on winged heel and a mythical horse takes flight.

    In a tribute to the earth’s bounty, this story immerses us in the captivating details of the natural world. Falling florals symbolise the changing of the seasons when a young woman descends yearly into the underworld, while above her a variety of gods and goddesses serve to protect the harvest, the hunt and the hearth. Revelling in a rich landscape of fertile crops and forests of plenty, we must nevertheless tread carefully – for there are monsters at every turn of the labyrinth, and Medusa’s snakes slide half-hidden through the undergrowth. 

    The Oceans story draws us deep down into a glittering underwater kingdom, of wine-dark waters inhabited by powerful mythological beings. Here the goddess of beauty and love is born from a sea shell, scattering roses and myrtle around her as she steps onto land, and far out beneath the waves the royal protector of the sea holds court among the sea nymphs. Ancient crafts such as mosaic tiling are celebrated in rippling oceanic style, translating timeless techniques with an eye for contemporary storytelling.

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