When William Morris found a couple of thrushes stealing fruit from his kitchen in Oxfordshire one day, inspiration struck. Those birds then became the central feature of one of his most famous textile designs, Strawberry Thief. Registered by Morris in 1883, this pattern was first made with indigo discharge on printed cotton at Merton Abbey. From there it went on to become one of his most popular designs throughout the decades and now, it’s being reinterpreted by the collaborative forces behind Anthropologie and Liberty.
With an incredible archive of some of Britain’s most distinguished designs, Liberty have shared a selection of its best with Anthropologie’s designers, who in turn have reimagined these historic patterns in a new range of upholstered furniture as part of their 2017 Autumn Winter collection. Alongisde Morris’s Strawberry Thief will feature a velvet-covered Edlyn Sofa in the Feather Bloom pattern; a dramatic floral print inspired by a Liberty Fabrics archive print from 1971.
As well as furniture upholstery, this new collaborative range includes wooden furniture, fine porcelain and everyday dinnerware, textiles, hardware, home fragrance and stationary – all of which are made with reworked colour-ways and include a plethora of playful hints at famous designs that have had lasting impacts on British design. ‘Like anyone who is passionate about design,’ says project initiator and president of Home, Garden & Europe Andrew Carnie, ‘I have always revered Liberty Fabrics as the very epitome of classic British style… Given our shared passion for pushing creative boundaries, I believe that Anthropologie and Liberty Fabrics are a natural fit.’