Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend Anna to the Laura Ashley pop-up exhibition in good ol’ London Town. Laura Ashley are currently celebrating their 60th anniversary and whilst I haven’t really been drawn to their more recent designs, I was intrigued by the prospect of some archive pieces being displayed.
In actual fact it was a brilliant little exhibition, a nostalgia trip evoking many memories for both of us and an interesting insight into the history of the brand. My own history of LA purchases could probably be counted on one hand but I recognised so many designs from growing up, if we didn’t have it, someone we knew did.
This book of samples really got my heart racing, I’m afraid I can’t remember what the design is called but it was inspired by a broken butter dish that sat under a bell jar next to it. Those colours … please Laura Ashley, bring back these prints!
One thing that stood out for me was the quality of the fabrics and the timeless appeal of the designs. I bought a Laura Ashley skirt last week in a charity shop for £3.99 and it looks brand new, in fact I found it in one of the catalogues they had on display from 1985!
The exhibition continued into homeware and then a preview of fashion to come later this year and a doorway which meant we could either leave or do the whole thing again. We did the whole thing again with the historical part being my absolute favourite. Laura Ashley seem to have really engaged with their customers during this period of celebration, the blog has many interesting aspects to it relating to the history and personal stories of customers who wore the clothes.
All in all a lovely day out in which I discovered amongst other things, Laura Ashley was Welsh (who knew she was Welsh?! I’m half Welsh!), I want to be an archivist (such a fascinating job) and that Anna kept Laura Ashley in business for much of the late eighties and early nineties! Thank you Anna, it was a great day!