I am planning to write a couple of posts about my favourite Liberty of London scarves. There are two designs that I particularly love: Hera and Ianthe. This first post is about the iconic Ianthe pattern.
The post will mirror the Scarf of the Moment format which I have already used for my Hermès scarves, but will deviate a little. There is no “scarf story” for these designs, for example. Anyway, I hope this post is informative and enjoyable to read. If you have any information that I could add, or you spot any errors, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
So, here is my latest purchase of the Ianthe design. This is a slightly modified version called Ianthe Star:
Gorgeous, isn’t it! This is an Ianthe variation where the stylised flowers have been replaced with stars. Here are my first Liberty Ianthe scarf purchases, which have been posted several times on this blog:
Ianthe is a wonderful sinuous Art Nouveau pattern designed by R. Beauclair in 1900 and then re-drawn later by David Haward’s studio. It has been re-designed several times and is currently available in different versions on contemporary scarves. Each season Liberty uses the design in new ways. As well as on scarves, the pattern has been widely used over the years on clothing, upholstery, table wear, curtains, rugs, jewellery and many other items.
My Ianthe Star scarf is printed on silk twill and measures 90cm on each side. The colours are bright and cheerful: a navy background with two other shades of blue, as well as pink, peach and a golden yellow. There is a beautifully designed wide border between two bands of yellow and grey. The hem is rolled backwards, unlike the classic Hermès rolled hems. Liberty’s crest, with the words “Liberty London”, can be seen in one corner.
Here are some other contemporary Liberty scarves with the Ianthe pattern used in different ways and in other colours. First we have traditional silk twill square 70cm and 90cm scarves:
And these are stoles, some in silk, some in wool:
Ianthe is also available in Liberty’s famous tana lawn fabric. Other designers have used this to make scarves and other items which can often be seen on sites such as Etsy and eBay.
Here are the “Editor’s Notes” from the Liberty of London website:
The Ianthe Star scarf is crafted from rich silk twill and expertly printed in Italy with the reimagining of an archival Liberty artwork – a life-long modern icon to brighten up daily dressing.
Whether looped around your neck or twisted through the handles of a tote, a Liberty silk scarf is a heroine of versatile styling. This square scarf is printed with Ianthe Star – a twinklingly modern reinterpretation of Liberty’s Art Nouveau Ianthe design, with stars replacing the flowers in a nod to the ‘Seaside Surrealism’ of famous 1930s female artists. This contemporary interpretation has been printed in Italy onto an expertly-woven silk twill, using innovative technologies alongside specialist finishing.
These photos are some close-ups of my new Ianthe Star scarf in a slideshow format:
How I wear the design
This slideshow contains some of my outfit collages with my Ianthe scarves. I haven’t yet worn my latest addition to the collection, so will add further collages when I do!
I have taken some quick photos of possible scarf ties:
Clockwise from the left: criss-cross knot, asymmetric wrap, half bow knot, casual bias fold tie, asymmetric wrap (other way round), and cowboy cowl knot. (I must apologise for the lighting in these photos, it was such a sunny day when I took them!).
Other items made in the Ianthe design
I mentioned above that Liberty of London and other companies have made a huge range of items in the pattern over the years. As you might expect, I own some Ianthe designs other than scarves (the bag and shoes are by Clarks). I even made a Roman blind from Ianthe fabric for my first house back in the 1980s!
If you do an image search on Google, for example, you will find thousands of products made with this lovely pattern. Here are a few:
Also, have a look at their amazing clothing range made using their scarf patterns. They are totally beyond my price range but they are so beautiful. I’m still trying to forget my Liberty pyjama debacle from last year!
I have been able to find a few articles and mentions of the Ianthe design, and also others, which may be of interest:
Five of the best Liberty prints, from over 140 years of extraordinary history
Detailed article from 2017. Ianthe is mentioned at the end, but the whole of the article is interesting.
The History of Liberty
Once again, a useful recent article with a paragraph about Ianthe and its history.
From William Morris to Anna Wintour: How Liberty made an art out of fashion
Details of an exhibition of Liberty over the years.
Liberty prints and designs through the decades
Short article about the store.
I hope readers have found this exploration of Liberty of London’s Ianthe design both interesting and useful. Once again, if you find any errors or have any additional information that I could add, please don’t hesitate to contact me.