Monday, 20 June 2011

The hard edge of pretty

All images collaged  from Laura Ashley by Martin Wood

A little while ago I got a book out of the library; Laura Ashley bu Martin Wood. I have always been aware of Laura Ashley, when I was younger I was given some of my aunt's 1970's Laura Ashley maxi dresses. You know the one with the high necks and long sleeves that looked Victorian. To my twelve year old self these were very unfashionable, (it was after all the 1990s) and I out them in a box and never really looked at them. When I was 18 I found a rust coloured long smock dress with a matching cream smock. I wore the smock over my mini dresses at uni. The only thing I ever really appreciated about Laura Ashley dresses were the fabrics, all the retro florals and 70s colours. The only other Laura Ashely items I possess are a child's puff sleeved party dress and a sailor style 1980s number with lace collar. Still the brand has always fascinated me a bit, I knew that it was essentially started by Laura Ashley at her kitchen table printing scarves, and that grew into an international business. I have thought for the last few years that the brand should really re-issue some of it's vintage styles in some 1960s/70s fabrics. At least I'd like to buy them. So this book was of interest to me. It has plenty of glorious photos of fabrics and archive catalogue images. Although of real and surprising interest were the top two photos. (The second I have collaged up a bit) The top photo is of Viv Albertine of punk band the Slits with Paul Simon of the Clash. Apparently they were taken by Laura's daughter Jane who was at art collage at the time. I love how the sweet old fashioned image of Laura Ashley was mixed with the hard edge of punk. There is something very modern about the meeting of the two. Just a little inspiration for a Monday.


  1. I agree, I don't think I had an appreciation for Laura Ashley until my 20s. I now love her floral patterns, high necklines, and victorian-esque inspired designs. And these pictures are just beautiful. I am going to need to check out this book. xx

  2. you have a really great blog. i really love the aesthetic! i'm following now.


  3. I love getting inspiration from books instead of from the internet-it somehow feels more fresh. This book looks great-I never fully appreciated this dresses until now either.

  4. I really loved those pictures, thanks for showing. Adorable blog.

    /S / http://