117 weeks and 6 days | Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Last week I left the boys with their daddy for the day and toddled off down to London for a little adventure all on my own!

I’d been invited to the Laura Ashley Press Show AW15 and made the hour and a half long journey — on the train — to see what gorgeous things they have in store for us this autumn and winter.

I am big fan of Laura Ashley products — there are always such beautiful things to see each season.

Often the brand is associated with more traditional home furnishings but these days they’ve got a real mix, that would suit a contemporary style just as well as a more classic one.

I’m quite fascinated by Laura Ashley — she was such a modern gal for her day.

lauraashley

Image © Laura Ashley PLC | Laura Ashley by Martin Wood

Born in Wales in 1925, she was a pioneering business woman — something that was a bit of an anomaly in those days. She began her career producing upholstery and furnishing fabrics but in the 1960s started designing and manufacturing clothes.

I once read an interview with one of her children and the thing I most remember — and something that has stayed with me — is that Laura once said her priorities were her husband, her children and then her business — in that order.

Her children didn’t seem to mind at all that they came second only to their father. I think they must have loved what a loving relationship their parents had. I absolutely love the fact that she was so in love with her husband too. She even turned down the offer an OBE because she was upset that he hadn’t been offered one too.

Her little cottage industry was a real family affair and all of the Ashley children were involved in the business in some way or another.

She sadly died in 1985 — due to a tragic accident — but her legacy still lives on and the Laura Ashley brand is absolutely thriving.

Anyway (got a bit sidetracked by history, sorry) back to the present day and the press show!

There were so many lovely things — from amazing lighting to beautiful fabrics, cushions, sofas, kitchen equipment — to be honest I felt like I’d gone to ‘home-heaven’. I’ve put together a little round-up of some of the things I saw.

Have a look and see what you think.

spotlight_on_laura

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Christmas in June

They also had a display of their Christmas product.

Some absolutely beautiful things and although we’ve barely got into the swing of summer, it made me get just a *little* bit excited about this year’s festivities.

Through a berry red front door into a glittery wonderland of opulent gold, silver and red themed decorations.

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Handmade Heaven

One of the highlights of the show, for me, was a brand new offering that will be hitting the stores in September.

Inspired by ‘all things homespun’, they have produced an amazing collection of craft kits — knitting, candle-making, sewing — PLUS packs of their delicious trademark fabrics sold in ‘fat-quarters’ for quilters and crafters alike. With the nation hooked on programmes like ‘Sewing Bee’ and ‘Kirstie’s Homemade Home’, I predict that this new range will do really well.

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

Even the decorations were lovely! Sadly I don’t think these were for sale! ;)

Laura Ashley Press Show AW15

So many fabulous items including craft kits, button packs and fat quarters of their beautiful fabrics.

Needless to say, I came home with my head buzzing with colour and pattern and am very much looking forward to seeing this lovely stuff hit the shops in a few months time.

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Twitter | Facebook

32 Comments

  1. morna piper
    16th June 2015 / 9:02 pm

    I’m so jealous, I love Laura Ashley and I would have loved to go to something like this. I was a little sad not to see many prints this season though. One of my favourite ever dresses is a Laura Ashley print. I really liked the feather handled cheese knife set and the slate with the victoria sponge recipe on it. Thanks for sharing, I might go to our local shop at the weekend just for a look around.

    • 16th June 2015 / 9:10 pm

      There were LOTS of prints Morna :) And some of them they’ve recovered from the archive and have recoloured too! I took so many pictures — although I wasn’t able to show them all on the blog sadly. So many lovely things to look at — I can’t wait to see it all in the shops! :)

  2. 17th June 2015 / 5:52 am

    Did I just see a large cupbord that is basically a fold out kitchen? I want that for my garden. It looks amazing!
    The feather-handles are beautiful too.

    • 17th June 2015 / 9:26 am

      You did indeed!! ;) I think it’s a pantry but it would be an AMAZING garden cupboard. Why don’t you get ‘The Bavarian’ to make something similar for you?! ;) xx

      • 17th June 2015 / 9:35 am

        I may just do that Caro! I’ve had a bit of an outdoor kitchen on the go for the last few years and swore that this year I would really make a go of it. (Lightbulb moment! Perhaps that’ll be next week’s post).

        • 17th June 2015 / 9:38 am

          It could be GORGEOUS!! Or you could buy one of those bike shed thingys with opening doors and make it look pretty — it could be amazing!!! :)

  3. Ellie Mulligan
    17th June 2015 / 6:20 am

    wow you lucky thing getting invited to that! I admit, Laura Ashley is a brand that I was never too keen on as my mum used to drag us in there all the time as children, and I always got the impression it was quite dated,but I think I may have to revisit! Some lovely pieces there! x

    • 17th June 2015 / 9:25 am

      Yes — I used to be the same. My mum used to be obsessed with Laura Ashley curtains when I was a child — SO boring when you’re 8!! They’ve got some gorgeous buts and pieces nowadays! x

  4. 17th June 2015 / 7:02 am

    So many just gorgeous things – and that Christmas theme door – amazing!!! Hope you had a fab day. My mother in law is a big Laura Ashley fan so I’ll show her this
    I love the history bit & she really was so modern to be such a fabulous business woman in a very male dominated place!
    Thanks for hosting. See you Friday!! xxx

    • 17th June 2015 / 9:24 am

      She was amazing wasn’t she? I think people forget that there was a real woman behind the name. She was so ahead of her time. Can’t wait to see you again on Friday Beth!! x

  5. 17th June 2015 / 8:05 am

    How amazing! I love Laura Ashley but never think to go there for some reason but they have some really beautiful items in the new collection! #HomeEtc

    • 17th June 2015 / 9:22 am

      Aaah they really do. There are some very traditional looking pieces but loads of quirky, modern bits too. I was like a kid in a sweetshop!! x

  6. K's Mum
    17th June 2015 / 12:48 pm

    I especially like the kitchen stuff, the look just gives that “home” feling to me. #HomeEtc

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:39 pm

      It’s really lovely isn’t it? So lovely and homely :) xx

  7. 17th June 2015 / 1:01 pm

    That pineapple though!! Would never expect that from Laura Ashley, I am going to have to hunt that down! I enjoyed reading the background about Laura and the business, it’s really nice to hear a bit more about how the brand started, I don’t think I’d ever realised that Laura Ashley was a real person! xx #HomeEtc

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:38 pm

      I KNOW!!! That was my favourite thing!! I loved that pineapple candle holder! That’s definitely the new trend! Move over flamingoes — hello pineapples!

  8. 17th June 2015 / 2:03 pm

    What gorgeous stuff! I really love the Victoria Sponge Recipe Board, this would be so handy and would save me having to get my recipe book out every time I make one! And how fab that you were invited to this, I’m very jealous! xx

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:36 pm

      Thanks so much Jemma! I was so happy to be asked! I was like a kid in a sweetshop — it was a lovely treat to go and look around! x

  9. Sammy at Seize each day
    17th June 2015 / 2:43 pm

    Wow lucky you being invited to a press day!! You certainly took lots of pics. Thanks for the little bit of history too on Laura Ashley herself – things I didn’t know.
    I’m a lover of Laura Ashley and have been for many years and my home is dotted with Laura Ashley pieces, from wallpapers, to lights, to accessories and bedding. Always good quality from LA and they are definitely moving with the times which is good to see.
    Thanks for hosting this lovely linky #HomeEtc.
    Sammy xxx

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:35 pm

      Aaah Sammy, I took LOADS of pics — far more than I could even fit in my blog post!!! I LOVE the history of the brand — she was SUCH a pioneer for women in business. I absolutely love her — for her creativity and especially for how much she adored her husband. I feel as though she was a kindred spirit.

  10. 17th June 2015 / 8:01 pm

    What a fab day!! Look at all these pretty things! WANT! I am so lucky as I have a few pieces from them for the twins rooms for our new house. Eeeeeek – I cannot wait :) Lovely photographs and what a fab trip for you! Thanks for being a co-host to our very special linky :) Love ya and see you on Friday! xxxx #HomeEtc

    • 18th June 2015 / 10:38 pm

      SO pretty. I was light a moth round a flame!!! :) Such lovely things!! Can’t wait to see you Friday — big kiss to my blogging besty xxx

  11. 17th June 2015 / 8:13 pm

    I love Laura Ashley and hearing that they will be selling fat quarters now could prove to be very damaging to my bank balance. xxx

    • 18th June 2015 / 10:36 pm

      Aaah me too!! I love their stuff — it was such a treat to have a look at the product before it’s hit the shelves too :)

  12. 17th June 2015 / 11:50 pm

    Oh how interesting, I never knew about the history of Laura Ashley – fascinating! I’m noticing a pineapple trend here, had spotted it sneaking into the high street. I’ve got a feeling they are the new flamingoes! And letters in lights. I think I want some! #homeetc Sabrina xx

    • 18th June 2015 / 10:27 pm

      She was SO interesting — I think people forget that there was a real woman behind the brand name. You’re so right about the pineapples — they are DEFINITELY the new flamingoes!! LOL! They’re everywhere!!

  13. 18th June 2015 / 1:14 pm

    Okay, since I can’t afford any of it I’m now going to make an imaginary order! I’ll have that sweet mini white sofa, a wicker hamper and one of those floral mugs please. Thank you! I used to have a book all about interior decorating by Laura Ashley, written in the 70’s. It was certainly of its time! But I remember pouring over it and planning which rooms I would have in my house. Thanks for the memories!

    • 18th June 2015 / 10:23 pm

      They really do have some lovely stuff don’t they?! I could furnish my whole house with it all!! :) x

  14. 19th June 2015 / 8:34 pm

    I love the look of the red retro kitchen things. They remind me of the 1980s Laura Ashley decorating book that I bought in a charity shop a while back! Lucky you to have a lovely trip to London – I need to do this more often… x #HomeEtc

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:22 pm

      The kitchen stuff was am-AY-zing!! Absolutely gorgeous! We have a red AGA so I was eyeing it all up for myself :)

  15. Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy
    22nd June 2015 / 9:25 pm

    God I love ALL of this, it’s so gorgeous! I’d be quite happy for my house to look like a Laura Ashley shop :) #HomeEtc

    • 22nd June 2015 / 9:32 pm

      Ah me too!! It was all just gorgeous!! So nice to see it all before it hits the stores — I’ll be keeping my eyes open for some of those lovely bits and bobs. SO lovely to see you on the weekend pet :) Fab to meet you finally xx

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