The bucolic British brand and New York’s queen of chintz, Batsheva Hay, have joined forces on a collaboration sure to put Laura Ashley back on the fashion map.
So it’s unsurprising that a collaboration between the pair (Batsheva Hay, the founder of her eponymous brand, has been a fan of Laura Ashley since childhood) has been in the works since August 2020.
Launching today, the limited-edition 15-piece collection is brimming with Ashley’s chintzy prints and Hay’s retro-inspired silhouettes (hello, pie crust collars and under-the-knee frocks).
“When I made my first dress a few years ago, my idea was to take a classic Laura Ashley shape and adjust all sorts of things – make the neck a little rufflier, add contrasting fabrics, bring up the waist,” Hay says of the collaboration. “All I wanted to do was revisit and reimagine Laura Ashley and this is my chance to do it. I am working with archival prints, line drawings, and garments and mashing them together.”
The move is one no doubt intended to reverse Laura Ashley’s fortunes after the bucolic British brand filed for administration in March 2020 following failed rescue talks, which were cut short by the pandemic.
In August 2019 the brand, which was founded in 1953, announced it had swung to a £14 million loss in the year to 30 June, compared with a £100,000 profit the year before.
Meanwhile, Hay has proved herself to be one of the gems in New York’s fashion crown since her brand’s inception in 2016, and has recently teased another collaboration with Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter, artist Ella Emhoff.
Laura Ashley x Batsheva is available to buy now from Net-a-Porter, MatchesFashion, and Batsheva.com. Prices range from £36 - £229.
Images: courtesy of Laura Ashley.