Laura Ashley SS14 – First Look

*best unbiased face*

Fashion was strong at the Laura Ashley SS14 show and not far behind were some very novel home accessories.

There was a refreshing lack of floral and chintz but a heavy nod across the board to heritage prints of the geometric variety.  This gave the new collections a fresh yet timeless appeal. Twee was replaced by Broderie Anglaise, 1970s Indian Summer prints (elephants!), smocks, crochet and a large dose of nautical novelty. Soft denim and a less frou-frou rework of the 50s dress (still keeping the correct proportions) added a very modern feel to what will surely become a classic collection.

Accessories have also plundered the archives to form smart yet practical bags that will see you through the day and evening. The overall feel was relaxed chic with great detail but minimal fuss. Very contemporary yet at the same time very Laura Ashley of yonder (i.e. pre 1980).

I could not get enough of the blue and white prints, including this china plate inspired novelty print.

For home, it was really the accessories that stuck out.  The gold pineapple lamp was good enough to eat but too large for my handbag. It would not have looked out of place at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.

I was really pleased with the use of green, and the bird motifs which always seem to do very well in the shop. I was also tickled to see the resurrection of cake forks. The new home fragrance, Beach Comber, smells of summer. I’m sure there was a G&T with a slice of cucumber in there.

Verdict: an exciting show with all the hallmarks of the brand. All killer no filler. Innovative Laura Ashley for the modern generation.

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