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about the a liberty odyssey fabric collection

A Liberty Odyssey: A Voyage of Storytelling

Embark on a mythical tour across sea, land, and heavens and discover a new spellbinding Liberty Fabric collection for AW23
By: Charlotte Olby

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A Liberty Odyssey: A Voyage of Storytelling

A Liberty Odyssey: A Voyage of Storytelling

Embark on a mythical tour across sea, land, and heavens and discover a new spellbinding Liberty Fabric collection for AW23

By: Charlotte Olby

This season, Liberty Fabric invites you to join us on a voyage of storytelling with our new AW23 collection: A Liberty Odyssey. Drawing inspiration from the world of ancient myths and legends to explore Liberty’s very own heritage of storytelling through design, this journey takes influence from the epic tales of gods and goddesses, monsters and heroes – all of which have ignited the imaginations of artists, poets and Liberty designers alike for millennia.

Born in the heart of our Liberty Design Studio, the Liberty Fabric team has embarked on a sweeping tour across sea, land, and heavens, through captivating mythic imagery and symbolism to ignite the imagination and deliver a vast new collection spanning 54 Tana Lawn™ Cotton, 19 Poplin and 24 Silk and Crepe de Chine designs in various iterations and colourways. Split into four stories, Classical, Universe, Earth and Oceans, each narrative is connected by a golden thread of rich symbolism, captivating iconography and wonder. Delve into the depths of inspiration behind each story and explore our edit of stand-out designs to influence and energise your latest make.

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The Classical story offers a celebration of the stories of Greek and Roman myth, interpreted through a vibrant contemporary lens. Ancient architectural female figures are given a Pop Art twist, appearing alongside designs influenced by pottery fragments, mosaics and exquisite stone masonry – with 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.

This design was inspired by shards of ancient Greek pottery found in the British Museum, pieced together as if to recreate the original object. By combining several tiny print fragments from the Liberty archive, the arrangement mimics the distinctive look of Greek terracotta pottery, with its bold two-colour palette and fine line detailing.
Mysterious and evocative, Archaeology showcases mythological stories through the found fragments of Greek and Roman statues. Imagined as fractured marble pieces, these figures depict the gods and goddesses of Olympus through their most recognisable symbols – such as the winged foot of Mercury, the shell of Aphrodite, and the lyre of Apollo.
This striking collage of classical architecture depicts exquisite details from a temple of the goddess Athena – patroness and protector of the city of Athens. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s modern interpretations of Renaissance architecture in the 1980s, the bold design was created by layering motifs and applying digital effects to mimic the look and texture of a screen print.
Inspired by an archival Liberty scarf design dating from 1960, this intricate check pattern pays homage to the beautiful mosaic tiles found within ancient Greek and Roman buildings. The layout incorporates a variety of symmetrical geometric effects, as densely packed borders and blocks reflect mosaic’s historic craft techniques through a modern lens.
As elusive as she is inspiring, the Muse of classical antiquity appears here in a bold new form. Created by London-based artist Soozy Lipsey, this design reimagines ancient Greek sculptural imagery to depict the goddess of poetic inspiration – with photographic elements manipulated by bright contemporary brushstrokes, finished with graphic spray paint marks.
In an homage to the intricate beauty of Baroque engravings, this design was created using modern markers to imitate the delicate touch of needle on metal. It depicts Zephyr, the god of the West Wind in Greek mythology, who puffs his cheeks to blow rolling clouds across the sky.

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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 heels and a mythical horse takes flight.

This landscape design depicts Elysium, the paradisiacal land of Greek myth. It was thought to lay at the ends of the earth, where immortal heroes would be cooled by breezes from the west wind and graced with golden drifts of flowers, groves of trees and grassy well-watered meadows. Imagined here in soft tonal layers of gouache, this beautiful land is bathed in glowing light from its very own suns and stars.
In a nod to the sun god Helios, Ralston depicts billowing clouds warmed by golden sunbeams, stretching outwards into the vastness of the skies to illuminate the horizon. Inspired by a paper impression discovered in the Liberty archive, these imaginary panoramas are observed by birds in flight, all bathed in the dazzling light of dawn.
The wing-like shapes of this immersive pattern almost seem to rise and unfold in unison, creating a complex choreography of form. Referencing the classical myth of Icarus, the design was derived from an archival Liberty piece from the late 1980s, with each element meticulously redrawn to retain the intricate linework of the original.
Beware of the wrath of Zeus, in this striking geometric design. Redrawn from an archival Liberty layout originally printed in 1971, it spotlights the thunderbolt – an iconic symbol of the supreme god of Greek mythology. Storm clouds and jagged flashes of lightning create a dynamic sense of synergy, lighting up the sky with colourful high voltage.
In a nod to Eros, the mischievous god of love, this dreamlike scene depicts cherubs flying amongst winding ribbons and scattered flower sprigs. First printed as a Liberty scarf in 1949, this new interpretation remains true to archive original with its charmingly illustrative style, mottled texture and vintage hues.
Pegasus was created in homage to the mythical winged horse of Greek mythology. Inspired by the Cubist method of analysing, breaking up and reassembling objects into abstract form, the design uses graphic linear lines juxtaposed against fluidly curved shapes. A soft, almost ethereal watercolour adds subtlety to this secondary conversation.


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.

Floralia is a quintessential Liberty print, composed from a dancing meadow of glistening bluebells and joyful anemones. Originally created in 1970 but inspired by a print from the ‘30s, its simplified flowers are drawn with a fine outline and a loose, hand-painted aesthetic.
Helenium flowers are said to be named after Helen, whose legendary beauty sparked the Battle of Troy in Greek mythology. Painted in flat gouache, this densely-covered multidirectional floral looks almost like a texture when viewed at a distance.
Originally printed for Liberty in 1977, Hambo was also included in our Spring/Summer 2009 seasonal collection. Revived and recoloured here in bold fresh hues, this geometric check repeat gives the illusion of a richly textured, multi-layered twill weave – created in a tribute to the Greek goddess of craft, Athena.
Inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Medusa, this mesmerising botanical paisley incorporates intricate seaweed-like foliage alongside fantastical flowers and cascading fronds. Drawn from a Liberty furnishing fabric created in the 1970s, this reimagining brings to life a mysterious concoction of flora and fauna. Look closely to discover trails of Medusa’s legendary snake-like hair, writhing through the verdant jungle.
Mino’s Maze is a small-scale geometric design inspired by the story of Ariadne, who helped Theseus to escape the labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur. In Liberty’s interpretation the maze features hidden areas which are physically impossible, in reference to M. C. Escher’s famous impossible constructions. The design was drawn in pencil in three dimensions, to resemble architectural-style drawings.
Painted in flat gouache with a texture overlay to emulate a block-printed impression, this camouflage tree design is inspired by a small archival Liberty paper fragment dating from the 1920s. Perhaps one of the earliest examples of Liberty landscape patterns, Woodland Canopy is a considered study of light, shade and form – hinting to the tree nymphs found in ancient mythic tales.

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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 seashell, 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.

This captivating design draws us deep into the watery world of Neptune’s kingdom. Influenced by the iconic Arts and Crafts style of William Morris, it is arranged in a mirrored repeat with a witty modern twist – look closely to discover the god of the sea himself sporting a snorkel and flippers, surrounded by lobsters and conch shells, and framed by perfectly curling tendrils of seaweed.
Inspired by an archival Liberty paper impression from 1972, this design conjures up the image of stormy waves crashing against Aphrodite’s Rock – the legendary birthplace of the goddess of love. From the pattern’s undulating paint marks to its detailing of foam-crested waves (from which Aphrodite is said to have risen), this easy-to-wear design has a dynamic and textural character, with great movement and depth.
Inspired by the intricate mosaics of classical antiquity, Poseidon is named in homage to the Greek god of the sea. The design depicts fish camouflaged among rippling waves, painted in watercolour to add texture and tone.
Sea Salt draws inspiration from the ferocity of sea spray, as waves break and crash thunderously against the shore. Created in the London studio by melting shavings of wax coloured crayons, its textural pattern offers a modern, easy-to-wear take on Liberty’s beloved Pepper design.
This design was drawn from the story of Triton, a sea god who used a conch shell as his trumpet – various shell motifs and patterns are referenced in ancient Greek pottery, inspiring the look of the small-scale textural design. Its shell motif, which is repeated in a grid-like formation, was created using a monoprinting technique to achieve the mark-making texture.
This intricate artwork allows us a glimpse into a mythical world, found deep beneath the rolling ocean waves. A school of shimmering fish dart among rosette florals, rising slowly as if to greet the birth of the goddess Aphrodite on the surface of the water, and a huge octopus perches atop a shipwreck on the ocean floor, watched over by a seaweed-haired siren – an enigmatic and captivating scene, where the viewer is invited to use their imagination.

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