Say the name Laura Ashley and visions of fussy floral prints, Victorian-esque maxi dresses, and Princess Diana dance in my head. Turns out I’m not entirely off the mark. From humble beginnings printing textiles on a kitchen table, the story of Ashley and her family is carefully chronicled alongside that of the company. Martin Wood reveals that the Ashleys never set out to be fashion designers, wanting primarily to be seen as textile printers and interior decorators, but apparel proved a profitable way to market their textile prints. Ample text and photographs provide a detailed account of where Ashley found inspiration and how it was applied to convey the British country essence of their brand. If you’re looking for a juicy read you had better move to the B’s – this biography is a respectful tribute to a woman who truly lived the Laura Ashley lifestyle she created.
by Martin Wood – Frances Lincoln Limited
reviwed by Magenta Piroska (originally published in Worn Fashion Journal Issue 10)
photography by Jessica da Silva