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Luella's Liberty Fun

After the unexpected announcement that Luella will cease trading, it's good to know that she's spreading her Yuletide joy at Liberty.

It seems a little strange that the day after Luella Bartley opens up her Christmas Grotto at Liberty's in London, that she should also announce that Club 21, the brand's global licensee for ready-to-wear and accessories untimely had "taken the decision not to invest further in its relationship with Luella Bartley Limited." As it stands, there will be no polka-dotted filled spring summer 2010 Luella deliveries either as their ready-to-wear producer has also closed.

With all this doom and gloom though, Bartley is still optimistic: "I love the Luella character and hope that after we have survived this challenging time the Luella girl can have an exciting future ahead of her, whichever incarnation she takes on next." The Luella girl is still alive and kicking though at Liberty's where Bartley and her design team have subverted British Christmas traditions in the store windows. Ugly stepsisters in panto, a British fox-headed hunt, a kitsch 70s Christmas complete with the Queen's speech on TV, carol singers on a council estate and a jolly robin are all featured in the lavish windows stuffed to the brim.

In addition Bartley has hand picked a selection of Liberty goodies for her grotto that include everything from Fine Confectionary Co sweeties to fine silk scarves by Swash and Vivienne Westwood wallets and gloves, perfect for stocking fillings.

The store exterior with the lit-up sign "Liberty's Luella Christmas" ensures that Luella lives on for a few months yet. Here's hoping someone with some a lot of spare change in their pockets walks by and offers a helping hand.