How One Old-School Brand Inspired Every It Dress of 2019
Laura Ashley was, in fashion terms, dead. When people talked about the brand, it was during fond, misty-eyed moments, and mainly due to Princess Diana wearing the label so much when she was pregnant. Often, it was a by-word for frumpy styling, and the furthest thing you could get away from being on-trend and directional. In a world that celebrates Virgil Abloh’s elevated street style at Off-White, clean lines of Phoebe Philo’s (old) Celine and Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta, it seemed like Laura Ashley was the exact opposite of the way fashion was going.
Oh, but how wrong we were. Suddenly, Laura Ashley was phenomenally popular. Etsy and eBay were full of vintage and pre-loved dresses from the brand that were selling for about £100 a pop. The prairie-dress silhouette, voluminous sleeves and dainty floral patterns that were the brand’s design DNA were suddenly what everyone wanted to wear. Whether you realise it or not, Laura Ashley became the brand that inspired every It dress of 2019.