Tag Archives: Target

The Easy Way to Design Fabric

You “borrow” designs from people who know what they are doing.

I know some readers must think I’m beating a dead horse whenever I make a post like this one, but it honestly astounds me every single time I run across a print that is so obviously copied.  In this case a cheap line sold at Target had a print that is based in part on a Liberty of London print, Ianthe.  The classic Liberty Art Nouveau print, Ianthe was developed over one hundred years ago.




This is even more interesting because Target actually did a collaboration with Liberty of London five years ago.  This piece is not part of the joint venture, as those pieces were clearly marked Liberty for Target.

And while most clothing designs cannot be copyrighted in the United States, fabric prints are subject to copyright protection.  Of course that does not mean copying does not happen, as we have seen many, many times.


Filed under Curiosities, Viewpoint

What I Didn’t Buy – Vintage-looking Handbag

I spotted this handbag in an antique mall recently, and I wasn’t fooled for a second.  From the thick clunky double chain to the plasticy faux-leather everything just screamed “NEW!”  But there was something about the details that made me take a second look.  Someone was clearly inspired by the work of Bonnie Cashin for Coach, circa 1964.

Well now, that makes perfect sense.  Isaac Mizrahi has long named Bonnie Cashin as one of his own design heroes, along with Claire McCardell and Geoffrey Beene.

One thing I like and admire about Mizrahi is that he does have a great sense of where fashion has been.  He knows his fashion history and does not mind pulling from it.  Early in his career, back in the 1980s, he was criticized for pulling a bit too much; that many designs were more Beene than Mizrahi.  Using the Target handbag as an example though, you can immediately see the influence, but not for a moment would anyone who knows her work be deceived into thinking she was the designer.

There is a big difference between inspiration and copying.   Copying is easy. You look at a design and reproduce it.  But inspiration involves taking the best feature of a previous design, and infusing your own sense of aesthetic  and creating something new.

I’ve been thinking about copying because I’m considering a huge sewing challenge – that of making a copy of a Chanel jacket.  Encouragement is greatly appreciated!



Filed under I Didn't Buy...

Liberty of London for Target

If you watch television or read fashion blogs, then you have to be aware that today is the day that Target launched their latest “designer” collaboration.  They have partnered with Liberty of London to make clothing, housewares and stationery from classic Liberty prints.

I usually don’t get excited about what they are doing at Target, as I figure you get what you pay for, and so many of the designer collaborations have just looked cheap.  But I’m a sucker for Liberty.  I even search through thrift store tie racks to try and locate the occasional Liberty necktie.   And on a trip to London a few years ago, one of the highlights was spending time in the beautiful Tudor style Liberty store on Great Marlborough Street.

My local Target had been open for five hours by the time I got there, and so I expected things to be really picked over.  Surprisingly, there were plenty of clothes left.  It was the accessories that were being snapped up.  I got the last umbrella, which I’d love whether it was a  Liberty print or not.  And all the women’s flip flops were gone.  Thankfully I have a munchkin-sized foot and could wear the girls’ large.  All the mugs were gone, and totebags were being snapped up.

And the clothes?  Well, the quality was as expected; this is not Great Marlborough Street and the fabric was not Liberty-produced Tana lawn.  (Liberty print does not equal Liberty fabric).  Still, the things were cute and wearable.  I really hated what they did with the peacock print, which is one of the best known Liberty prints.  The Target version is stark, and the colors are, in my opinion, just not pretty.

I wasn’t even tempted by the clothing, especially not since I splurged last week and bought a yard and a half of the real thing to make a skirt.  I’d rather have one quality skirt than three pieces that are just not going to hold up.

But, I was weak, and just had to have the four pieces I’m showing.   So how did I do for a grand total of $39.82?

These collaborations always bring up the question, “Doesn’t this devalue the actual Liberty products?”  These deals have been going on long enough that I think I can safely say no – that there are always people who are going to want the quality associated with the name.  It didn’t destroy Rodarte, Gaultier seems to be unaffected, and I doubt it will affect Liberty very much.  It’s just not the same customer, for the most part.

A few last words about Liberty of London:  In reading about this joint effort I read in several places that it is rumored that Liberty is not faring well, that the collaboration is an effort to “up” Liberty’s name recognition.  I’d say they have achieved that through the TV ads if nothing else.  It is also rumored that the wonderful old Tudor style store is for sale to the right buyer.  That is not the business, but the physical store, which would then be leased back to Liberty.


Posted by Joules:

Lizzie, you did extremely well! I understand that the majority of the clothing line is polyester, with the exception of some of the children’s articles. I’ve seen the new version of the peacock print, and I agree with you. I treasure the items that I’ve managed to thrift over the years. Congratulations, on these new, and thoroughly delightful pieces! 

Monday, March 15th 2010 @ 5:16 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Joules, there are several different fabrics, but the majority of the women’s clothes did seem to be poly. I thought that the little girls’ things were the absolutely nicest part of the collection. 

I just realized I can double my money. There are over 1000 Liberty for Target items on ebay right now, and most of them are selling at about double the list price. Insane, especially if the rumour about this being a long term relationship between the 2 companies is true.

Monday, March 15th 2010 @ 5:38 PM

Posted by Stacey:

I too LOVE Liberty and their fabulous fabric. Their store in London is incredibly beautiful. All the details really make a trip there special. Enjoy your new Liberty finds! 

Monday, March 15th 2010 @ 6:36 PM

Posted by Lisa:

The umbrella is really beautiful – now you have a great excuse to go play in the rain! 

Tuesday, March 16th 2010 @ 6:46 AM

Posted by KeLLy Ann:

I’m going to have to keep my eye open for Liberty now… 

Saturday, April 3rd 2010 @ 8:48 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

UPDATE: My sister-in-law bought the one dress that I thought was special – the cotton one that was fully lined in a large pink print. It looks great on her! 

Sunday, April 4th 2010 @ 5:08 AM

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Filed under Shopping