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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley (1925-85) began her career as a secretary with the Women’s Institute.

She married Bernard Ashley in 1949, and they started a business manufacturing furnishing materials and wallpapers with patterns based upon document sources mainly from the 19th century.

When Laura Ashley gave up work to have a baby, she experimented with designing and making clothes, and this transformed the business into an international chain of boutiques selling clothes, furnishing fabrics, and wallpapers. Her work was characterized by a romantic style and the use of natural fabrics, especially cotton. The Welsh-born fashion designer was especially famed for her floral prints.

1970s printed cotton dresses by Laura Ashley at the Fashion Museum, Bath.By Mabalu 

Laura Ashley's first shop was opened in Machynlleth, Powys in Wales (35 Maengwyn Street) - it still trades as an interior design shop.

Laura Ashley died on September 17, 1985 after falling down the stairs at her daughter Jane’s home on her 60th birthday.

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