Laura Ashley is sixty …

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.

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IMG_3018I love this striped dress (as did everyone else judging by the oohs as we approached it), the stripes don’t match but so what, look at the pockets!

IMG_3027This 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!

IMG_3021A ‘Pelham’ headscarf and a design that Laura Ashley have wisely brought back. You can now furnish your home with this!

IMG_3024Apologies for the shadows in this one! The apron and mop cap on the right were staff uniform in the seventies apparently. Just look at the detail on this sleeve!

IMG_3028One 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!

IMG_3029The 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!

 

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Laura Ashley is sixty …

  1. That exhibition looks amazing, I wish I’d known about that. I remember my mum’s home-made Laura Ashley style dresses when I was younger and her excitement when she could occasionally afford to go and buy one – I can still picture her favourite floral one with a royal blue background – wish I’d kept it! And yay to appreciation for archivists – I qualified as an archivist 7 years ago and still feel so lucky to do something every day that I really love!

  2. Can’t believe the label’s 60! Love some of the patterns and designs – especially the stripey one!

    http://www.mancunianvintage.com

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