Freedom fashion

Edgy, eccentric and very English. That’s what you should be wearing in Bolton this winter and designer brand Liberty Freedom has it for you.

Born and bred in Bolton, the brand will have you looking every inch country chic, and it’s low on its carbon footprint too — with all fabrics being manufactured and sourced locally.

The man behind the designs, Upender Mehra, started up the brand three years ago and it’s been going from strength to strength. He has even been handpicked to exhibit his works in Manchester’s Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair which opens today.

Upender said: “We’re very Bolton. We get orders from Japan just because we are in Bolton. It’s that traditional way of making clothes — it’s the Lancashire life.”

Upender, who is originally from Birmingham, approached Beaver of Bolton four years ago with the idea of launching a clothing range. With a background in design, having studied at Manchester Fashion College and living in East Manchester, it seemed natural to continue his career in the North.

“We are very pro-British and low-carbon, with fabrics being made outside Oldham, the linings are from Leeds and the buttons from Birmingham.”

“It’s nice to get some recognition and feedback. It’s been phenomenal. We’ve got 30 plus garments now so we’re going to have to cut it back for the retail collections.

Upender has taken the idea of English tailoring and twisted it with a punk edge.

His designs are sassy, sexy and at the same time uniquely rebellious, with subtle detail and beautifully elegant trims. He calls it, “a clash of English country classics with Punk ideals to create a unique statement . . . an antithesis to the crass commercial high street!”

Whatever that means, Bolton Boutique just thinks the designs are stunning. Ranging between £125 and £600 they would have to be. But what you pay for here is home-grown tailoring, unique pieces and something that will help you stand out from the crowd on the high street.

And so to the future of Liberty Freedom, Upender said: “In the current climate, this is the first time we have had banks on our side. We’re just going for steady growth and to push the brand down South.”

You can buy Liberty Freedom at A Few Fine Things, 7 Oak Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester or go down to Fourth Floor, Union Mill, Vernon Street, Bolton.

Manchester’s Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is at Hardman Boulevard, Spinningfields, until Sunday. Innovative designers from across the country will sell their work directly to the public. For more details go to www.greatnorthern events.co.uk

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