Back to the Future: Meet Fashion’s New Artisans
Liberty shares the stories of seven artisan brands each celebrating fashion’s historic lineage of craft
Designers always have an eye set permanently on the here and now and continually think in terms of newness and what’s trending next. But as for womenswear’s next act, there’s a growing movement of change-making designers that are instead looking to time’s gone by, namely to a golden age when it was quality, craft and artisans that underpinned fashion. Reinvigorating traditions for the everyday wardrobe, from patchworking and crochet to weaving and hand-dyeing, their common objective is to craft beautiful clothing that we want to wear and cherish – now and for years to come. And better still, you’ll find them here at Liberty. Let’s shine a spotlight on seven fashion brands who look to the past in order to reimagine the future of womenswear.
Beloved for her structural, oversized dresses that are as comfortable to wear as they are attention-grabbing, Copenhagen-based womenswear designer Cecilie Bahnsen blends wearability with the art and intricacy of couture. Exploring the ethos that every day is worthy of wearing our best clothing, look to this Scandinavian label for amped-up volume, theatrical silhouettes and empowering fashion.
Read more: the Oversize Dresses Trend
Born into a family of tailors, Dries Van Noten’s passion for fabrics, crafting and fashioning beautiful but functional clothing was inherited at an early age. Once an original member of the Antwerp Six – the collective of avant-garde designers that propelled Belgium onto the global fashion stage in the 1980s – today his collections of patchworked dresses, body sculpting jackets and maximalist shirts embody a never ending pursuit of excellence. These are the kind of collector’s items that will become part of your forever wardrobe.
Read more: How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Ablaze with tropical prints and evoking the vibrancy of Brazilian culture, FARM Rio’s colourful creations come full of dopamine-inducing potential, meaning they’ll make you feel as good as you look. Designed by a collective of creatives and driven by a quality over quantity ethos, for every FARM Rio purchase - whether at Liberty or with the brand directly - one tree is planted in the Amazon rainforest. That's maximalism with meaning.
Read more: the best Maximal Fashion Brands
Meticulously tailored in Italy from refined, masterfully-made Japanese textiles, Fortela’s story is one of East meets West. Inspired by its founder, Alessandro Squarzi’s vast and ever growing archive of vintage clothing and with references to Navajo culture, old-school workwear and military uniforms peppered throughout, its collections of western Shirts, ponchos, tailoring and knitwear are designed to be characterful, hardworking pieces that stand the test of time.
Read more: The Five Pillars of a Workwear Rotation
Breathing new life into India’s vibrant textile heritage, every small batch collection by SZ Blockprints is created in partnership with the same 4th generation printing studio in Jaipur and has been since 2016. Founded by Sarah Zellweger and driven by her mission to not let age-old techniques fade from memory, the label meticulously block-prints all its fabrics by hand using engraved wooden reliefs.
Read more: Invest Strategically in the Season's Trending Dresses
Determined to make more durable and less wasteful clothing without compromising on its signature playfulness, ALÉMAIS is an Australian womenswear brand with designer Lesleigh Jermanus at its helm. Utilising natural and organic textiles wherever possible, from hemp to ramie cotton, the label’s vibrant, patchworked and hand-embroidered pieces all embody its obsession with quality, craftsmanship and artisanal practices.
Read more: Spread Joy with the Best Artisan Gift Ideas for Christmas
Inspired by women’s lives and their need for a hardworking wardrobe, Stockholm-based brand TOTEME has been perfecting its chic and practical modern day uniform since it was founded in 2014. A master of minimalism, expect day-in-day-out comfort, neutral palettes, pieces crafted for longevity and timeless silhouettes, style cues that makes them a darling of the style-set.
Read more: Master the Art of Minimalist Style