Urban Outfitters x Laura Ashley is the latest cool pairing of brands to land in 2019. You might not have seen yourself in your Mum’s favourite brand, but Laura Ashley’s iconic prints have had a cool-girl update just in time for summer.
There was a time when Laura Ashley was the British lifestyle brand. There wasn’t a wall to be papered or a dress to be occasioned that didn’t involve their hyperfeminine florals.
The quintessentially British brand was launched by the woman herself and her husband, Bernard, in 1953, after Audrey Hepburn’s iconic headscarf became a worldwide trend, bringing their scarf printing hobby to the attention of retailers.
Even after Ashley’s death in 1985, the company was the nation’s go to for feminine fabrics. But as the wheels of fashion kept turning, we began shunning chintzy prints – both on our sofas and our clothes.
That’s until now. Brands like Dôen, Batsheva and Bernadette – who all specialise in designs inspired by romantic pining for the countryside – have become some of the fashion industry’s most coveted. And even the big names have put retro florals on their S/S19 catwalks: Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga have bought back the trend as we reclaim our feminine power.
And so it’s now time for the original floral brand, Laura Ashley, to re-embrace cool. And where else would it turn for an update than millennial favourite Urban Outfitters? With the fellow high street titan it’s created an 11-piece collection of frilly blouses, baby-doll dresses, puff-sleeve tops and even cycling shorts – made with an instantly recognisable wallpaper print that the Urban Outfitters team mined from the Laura Ashley archives.
Malika Zagzoule, the buying director at Urban Outfitters Europe, says: “Each piece brings a playful, romantic take on effortless summer style.” Prairie never looked so pretty.
You can get your hands on the collection in-store and online on 4 May. Until then, we’ll be rummaging through Mum’s wallpaper collection…