I started to feel a “pastoral nostalgia” when I heard that Laura Ashley are back on form with a new collection. I have wonderful memories of their fashion, prints and homeware, which have been a firm favourite of mine from the early 1980’s.
As a young wife and mum to be, their clothing fitted with my lifestyle, back then. I loved their designs and individuality. In our first home, we saved up and bought bits and pieces of their homeware, and have continued to do so, for over thirty years.
I bought some great fashion pieces, in those early days. These included a few cotton dresses, jumpsuits – all of which had vibrant colours and prints – and a red maternity dress. One of my “favourites” was a pale pink, cotton jacket with a sailor collar and cuffs (I dug out this photograph from 1986). I used to wear it with a little pink mini-skirt and knee high, slouchy brown, leather boots. I remember feeling “the bee’s knees” in this outfit……. well, it was the eighties!
I always felt I was wearing the very best in both up to date fashion and quality. I wish I hadn’t let those items go, but I never thought I would wear them, again. Laura Ashley clothes from this era are now classed as “vintage” and selling for hundreds of pounds on various websites, including eBay, of course. This doesn’t surprise me one bit.
This was the time when Teresa Colonette was applying her “eye for style” and creative flair, influencing Laura Ashley designs. Theresa is now a curator at The Fashion and Textiles Museaum, in London. Currently, there are other successful brands whose designs are very similar to vintage Laura Ashley. This brings me to the present day and why I am interested in this new collection.
I have been looking for a winter dress that will take me over the Christmas period – not too dressy, “casual glamour”, comes to mind.
I have gradually become quite eclectic in my style, but the vintage prints of this brand still attract me. So, off I trotted to check this new collection out.
On entering the shop, the ‘Pimlico Collection’ prints caught my eye, straightaway. They remind me of the vibrant prints, of yesteryear. I liked the style of the midi-length dresses, so I guessed they would suit my shape. I ended up taking three dresses into the fitting room with me.
The prints are retro with a fresh twist. I couldn’t decide which one I liked best. I left the shop to have a ponder and signed up to their email. I don’t buy spontaneously, anymore. Plus, this was going to be a “forever” dress.
A few weeks later, I received an email from Laura Ashley informing me there was 30% discount being offered – bringing the dresses down from £110.00 to £77.00 – so very tempting. I then ordered all three dresses so I could check, again, which one I preferred, and I also ordered a pair of lacy tights (couldn’t resist!!).
I have taken photographs of the three dresses for you to see which one you would choose.
After some “umming and ahhing”, mainly between the burgundy print and the pink and black floral maxi dress, I picked the latter because I immediately felt great in it and loved the retro 1960’s – 70’s vibe. It captures the romantic heritage of the brand. I love the length and overall fit of the dress. It will be perfect for outings at Christmas, and beyond. It’s definitely a “day to evening” dress. I have worn it several times already, and I love it.