Sunday, April 29, 2018


1970's Laura Ashley dresses in an exhibition  in 2013 at the Fashion Museum, Bath. 

Laura Ashley;  She died years ago, yet her legacy lives on in shops all around the world.  From humble beginnings, working on the kitchen table, she started a fashion for pretty cotton fabrics made up into over the top frills and furbelows.  I liked her fabrics but not her dresses, they were pastiche, going back to a time, not quite sure when, very much Victorian but with a hint of the Wild West in them.  She said herself that her clothes were meant to be worn in the home and not outside.  
I suppose it must have been in response to the starker colours of  the 1960s, Mary Quant comes to mind, 'flower power' had made an entrance and being appealingly feminine with flowers in ones hair struck the right note.  Bet feminists raged quietly!  Anyway I still have a quilt made from her materials. 

I remember owning sumptuous coffee table books of rooms lavishly decorated (probably her French chateau) and probably thinking at the time but don't the curtains collect dust?  Now the styles are much cleaner but still heark back to rose wallpapers, etc.


  1. Those were the days Thelma. I remember having a Laura Ashley dress and wearing it to a party - long boots too - thought I was the bees knees.

    1. Couldn't afford the boots, (I was widowed in the 70s) and being five foot would have looked somewhat silly ;) But she was all the rage for a time.

  2. I liked the Laura Ashley home things more than the dresses. We always considered the dresses frumpy, me and mum! My mum was quite modern! But in the 1970s the Laura Ashley shops used to sell off-cuts of fabric in squares ready for quilt making. I can't believe I used to do it now but up there in an attic room in Newcastle my hand sewing machine used to whizz along making things like this. I also wallpapered my room with Laura Ashley paper at home with mum although I never slept in the room because I had already moved out. I am not sure why we did it really.

  3. Rachel I cannot imagine you sewing! You did it because it was fashionable you and your mum, and was opposite to what we had been used to - geometric wallpapers in bright colours. I wallpapered my daughter's room as well - L/A poppies and irises.

  4. I used to wear loads of Laura Ashley back in the 1980s when it was all New Romantic and the Lady Di frilled collars.

  5. I remember Diane's frilled collars, sad that William and Kate are producing grandchildren and she is not there to see them....

  6. I did have at least one Laura Ashley dress and still have a beautiful Laura Ashley quilt on the bed in my guest room. It is the prettiest room in my house.