From humble beginnings – screenprinting headscarves at the kitchen table in her home in Pimlico – to a worldwide fashion phenomenon, the late Laura Ashley certainly made her mark on fashion and interiors over the last 60 years.
The label’s archivist, Angela Jeffery, puts the company’s enduring appeal down to Laura Ashley’s skill at drawing inspiration from the past. ‘There was always an air of nostalgia and a point of historical reference in her designs,’ she explains. ‘Today, after 60 years, the legacy remains, with a consistent handwriting and unmistakeable style.’
Were you a Laura Ashley girl? From the geometric prints of the 60s to the smocks of the 70s, right through to those 80s taffeta ballgowns and beyond, you can’t deny the appeal of those romantic designs, gorgeous fabrics and the country ‘lifestyle’.
Don’t forget the wonderful soft furnishings. Laura Ashley wallpapers and fabrics have graced our homes since 1981 when the first home furnishings catalogue was produced. ‘The feeling was that Laura Ashley was bringing a ‘country house’ feel into ordinary homes,’ says Angela Jeefery. ‘Everyone could have a little bit of luxurious opulence.’
Now Laura Ashley would love to hear from Woman’s Weekly readers with very early examples of their pieces. Some may have been lost forever and may never be added to the archives in Wales and London… unless you know different! From the 50s headscarves to 60s geometrics, they’d love to hear from you if you have treasure in the attic!