I remember in 3rd grade (or perhaps it was 4th grade) when all I wanted for my birthday were these ruffled lavender Laura Ashley sheets with matching ruffled pillow shams and purple floral accent pillows. I did not get this elusive set of bedding (which amongst my circle of girlie girl friends, having a Laura Ashley bedroom set basically made you impervious to anything “uncool”).
Instead what I got were these pink rose patterned sheets and pillows. And while they were still floral and were bedecked with enough lace and ruffles to make Marie Antoinette proud, they were NOT Laura Ashley. They were a SHAM (haha I just made a bedding pun!).
In case you’re blind (wait, how are you reading this?!) it is probably no secret that I adore anything floral and feminine and have a tendency to lean towards colors that appear sun faded. So without further ado, my ode to Laura Ashley and all things ruffled, romantic, and puff sleeved.
When I think of Laura Ashley, I think of romantic English countrysides. I think of tiny floral wallpaper and fabrics that seem like The Bennet’s (from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice) might have had.
Laura Ashley isn’t the only brand that rekindled a love affair with pastoral inspired fashion. From the late 60s to the early 1980s brands such as Gunne Sax (Jessica McClintock) and Young Edwardian also followed suit. While the latter produced more Medieval and Renaissance inspired designs in the late 70s and 80s, Gunne Sax did start by creating clothing that was inspired by Victorian and Edwardian prairie styles.
At Adored Vintage, I’ve come across some vintage Laura Ashley clothing. Laura Ashley reached its fashion peak (in my vintage opinion) in the 1980s.
I wonder if Gunne Sax was America’s answer to Britain’s Laura Ashley? While there were similarities between these brands, it is my opinion that Laura Ashley is quite distinct from Gunne Sax and Young Edwardian.
What do you think? Are you more of a Gunne Sax girl or a Laura Ashley girl?