Old clothes, poetry, music and the beauty of the natural world inspire me to be present and yet transcend time at the same time. Every day in each moment we have the opportunity to create magic in myriad ways and for me clothing is such a deep part of that. What character do I feel today? What am I going to make and give to the world? An outfit in itself can be a work of art...I guess that is what is meant by style...how we collage together clothes out of how we feel emotionally and physically. It is magic really, the creation of a beautiful illusion that we present to the world that affects those around us. The ability to create is one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings, so in my small way I hope by offering wonderful clothes and old goods I can inspire those who come across my shop to dream their dreams and create their own magic.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Love I have for Vintage Laura Ashley~

When I was a kid growing up I loved going into the Laura Ashley store we had in my hometown of Houston, Texas. Everything was so beautiful from the clothes to the house ware. I remember when I was 12 my Mom finally bought me a bed room set of sheets, curtains and pillows for my room and I was so happy I would just lay on my bed smiling. It evoked another time and place for me, like being transported back in time to a Jane Austen novel or something of that nature. When I got to high school I was into punk and new wave, but my girlfriends and I became obsessed with Laura Ashley and started wearing her dresses with crazy hair and makeup and old victorian granny boots and 1940's shoes. It was like old west prairie girls go punk!

Laura Ashley herself was a welsh fashion designer and got her start designing designed headscarves, napkins, table mats and tea-towels for the Women's Institute on quilt work, which her husband Bernard printed on a machine he had designed in their attic flat. Laura's inspiration to start producing printed fabric came from a Women's Institute display of traditional handicrafts at the Victoria & Albert Museum. When she began looking for small patches carrying Victorian designs to help her make patchworks, she found no such thing existed. Here was her opportunity, and she started to print Victorian style headscarves in 1953. The Ashleys' scarves quickly became successful with stores, retailing both via mail order and high street chains such as John Lewis - Bernard left his city job to print fabrics full time. This put them on the road to becoming an international company with a brand that is recognized around the globe. Laura designed the prints and Bernard built the printing equipment; Laura remained in charge of design until shortly before her death, while Bernard handled the operational side. Laura Ashley's first shop was opened in Machynlleth, Powys (35 Maengwyn Street) in London.

I Have never really been a collector of one thing in particular but today I have the sudden urge to start collecting vintage Laura Ashley. Maybe some of these designs below will inspire some of you to start your own Laura Ashley Collections.


  1. Hello,
    Just found you while trying to find out about a Laura Ashley dress that I have acquired recently.
    The beauty of these garments is something that I think we all need right now in our lives.
    Reluctantly I will have to sell this one on as it is too small for me to wear.
    It is a blue taffeta with floral tapestry shaped bodice. With netted underskirt. An evening or prom dress. Its gorgeous! I was wondering if you might know anything about this one? My blog is Angelwhispers-sh-sh.blogspot.com
    and email shrnhbs@aol.com

  2. Great post. love getting to know a little of the history behind the vintage (and a little peek at your own personal fashion history :)

    †Miss M†

  3. I have 3 vintage Laura Ashley dresses. My alterations lady lost my vintage navy blue shawl collared cardigan and I'm totally sick about it. I am looking for another one. Any idea where I can start besides Etsy or Ebay?

  4. The white dress with inset lace is almost identical to my Laura Ashley cotton and lace dress c1974 which I chose to wear on my wedding day. I still have it :-) The only difference is mine has shorter sleeves