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Unique or Chic?

Written by Jacquelina Martinez

Have you ever wondered what “wonderfully weird” or “strange but cool” looks like? Well,

Libertine can surely help you there. Their out-of-the-ordinary pieces were a runway sensation.

This quirky yet luxury unique clothing brand was launched in 2001 by Johnson Hartig with Cindy Greene, who has since left the company in 2009. Libertine is based in

Los Angles, California, and are changing the norms of what we consider as “high

fashion.” In his early days, Johnson upcycled certain pieces of clothing found

at thrift stores by silk-screening and adding a quirky yet unique flair to them. Some of

his unique motifs display a surrealist eye or even portraits of Queen Elizabeth. This year

was no different from his fall 2024 collection displayed this year at New York Fashion

week. It showcased diverse silhouettes and distinctive motifs, embodying the designer's rule-breaking philosophy.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the clothing line's runway debut. His colorful and quirky patchwork were not only displayed on his pieces, and even the audience wore

their own Libertine inspired designs of “do it yourself patchwork” pieces. Libertine didn't just feature diverse historical references, but also incorporated the designer’s

personal obsessions as if his own personal diary of ideas came to life. In most of the pieces,

each model wore funky glasses with their looks. These sunglasses were for

sure a showstopper and can’t wait to see these accessories off the runway and into

our everyday looks.

Have you ever thought to put a silhouette of your dog on a piece of clothing? Well,

Hartig undeniably thought it and did it. The models wore fuzzy shoes and colorful

fuzzy wigs to match. During this year’s fall collection of Libertine, he displayed his own

staff's personal belongings and his own pet dogs on his pieces, making it more personal not only to him but to his brand and staff.

A peculiar take on the British rebellion, 70’s punk, Hartig incorporated bondage straps onto

suits adorned with lines from the 1816 poem; Darkness; by Lord Byron which he printed onto black and ivory fabrics with some bold words like “eternal” and “darkness”. Hartig is well known for gathering and collecting and displaying these his signature elements into his designs and it was displayed on every piece during this year’s fashion week. He surely takes the concept of maximalism as his own. This collection undoubtedly inspires you to start collecting and patch-working your own clothes inspired by Hartig.


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