Advertisement
UK markets close in 4 hours 4 minutes
  • FTSE 100

    7,659.76
    -59.45 (-0.77%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    19,122.15
    +12.52 (+0.07%)
     
  • AIM

    751.00
    -2.05 (-0.27%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1682
    +0.0008 (+0.07%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2617
    -0.0009 (-0.07%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    40,534.96
    -926.02 (-2.23%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    885.54
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,975.51
    -30.06 (-0.60%)
     
  • DOW

    38,563.80
    -64.19 (-0.17%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    76.66
    -0.38 (-0.49%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,040.30
    +0.50 (+0.02%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    38,262.16
    -101.45 (-0.26%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    16,503.10
    +255.59 (+1.57%)
     
  • DAX

    17,139.09
    +70.66 (+0.41%)
     
  • CAC 40

    7,810.89
    +15.67 (+0.20%)
     

Sussex midwife used to be a Hollywood costume maker for stars including Daniel Craig, Scarlett Johannson and Johnny Depp

Once the principal costume maker for megastars of the silver screen, Liberty Webb is now a midwife at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Photo: University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
Once the principal costume maker for megastars of the silver screen, Liberty Webb is now a midwife at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Photo: University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

Once the principal costume maker for megastars of the silver screen, Liberty is now a midwife at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

As career changes go it’s quite the curveball – more quantum leap than Quantum of Solace.

Liberty, 44, told University Hospitals Sussex: “I did my degree in costume and design and started out working on small budget stage productions. I really wanted to work on films, so I pestered Pinewood Studios for long enough for them to give me an opportunity.

Liberty received this letter from Hollywood filmmaker Tim Burton. Photo: University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
Liberty received this letter from Hollywood filmmaker Tim Burton. Photo: University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

“They liked the work I did for them on Troy, and that’s how I became known for my work and for the next ten years that’s what I did – I was a costume maker for some very well-known people.”

Liberty designed costumes for some of the world’s biggest stars – Daniel Craig, Judy Dench, Clive Owen, Kate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Helene Bonham-Carter, Scarlett Johannson and Nicole Kidman.

She worked on films such as the Quantum of Solace and Troy, Alexander, Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, Kingdom of Heaven and The Other Boleyn Girl.

"It was a really fun time, very hard work and very demanding but fun too,” Liberty said.

“The whole group costume designers would be like a family, and we would work on all these films and hang out with these superstars on set.

"Mostly it was in film studios in London, although we did get to go to Panama for the Bond film, and it was Daniel Craig’s 40th birthday while we were there, and we all got to go. That was a stand-out memory.”

Liberty met her husband, Mike, on a film set.

“Mike was a runner on Alexander and I met him on that set, so I have a lot to thank the film world for,” Liberty said.

But she still left it all behind.

“I had Oscar, now 14, and was pregnant with Scarlett, so this was around 2011. I just couldn’t do the job anymore, not with two children. So, I decided to go and set my own business up.”

Film director Tim Burton had given her some leftover tweed and she made a poncho from it – and the second part of her career began.

Liberty said: “I made three ponchos and gave them to a market stall in Clapham to see how they went. They all sold, so from there I began making more and more and had my own business, Liberty Kelly.

"I worked from my own studio, had a few pop-up shops and did well.”

Liberty still felt there was something missing. She fell out of love with the business, and knew she wanted something else.

“I closed the business down, and decided to move back to Brighton, where I am originally from, in 2019.

"I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

A chance meeting at a friend’s party, set her on her road for the next part of her journey.

"I used to see a friend, who is a midwife, at get togethers every now and then, and I always to say that she had the best job. She said ‘why don’t you do it? Why don’t you become one?’

“I was 40 - I thought no chance, I’m too old. But I did it. I went to the Met in Brighton and became a student midwife – at 40!”

Liberty said it is the ‘best decision I ever made’, adding: “It is such a privilege to look after women and support them and have a positive influence on their birth stories.

“My first was in 2020 back when the world had stopped but we carried on. Delivering that baby was the most beautiful, amazing, spiritual experience ever – it still gives me goosebumps.”

There’s been 41 more babies since then, with many more to come.

Asked if she misses the movies, Liberty said: “It sounds all very glamourous, and at times, I guess, it was. But everything I’ve ever done

before was a job – this, being a midwife, is a calling.

“I’ve never experienced anything like it before. I feel like I was born to do this.”