Laura Ashley ReBorn As Organic

For a time, in the 60's, a Laura Ashley was the quintessential dress for the English country rose look with its floral prints, smocking and long ruffles. It was the image of bucolic fields, picnics on white tablecloths, and wildflowers. Next the hippies took it on and redefined it as the earth-mother look. Then Laura Ashley had a fatal fall down the stairs in a country house and the brand lost its way for years. It has returned to the main street and is honoring those glory days by introducing an "archive" collection. They are bringing back the old patterns and modernizing the styles. All the clothing will be made out of 100% organic cotton from Turkey where it meets the Sustainable Textile Standard. It will be based on patterns and clothing gathered from the extensive archive collection in Wales. Designers have unearthed the trademark daisy-print shirt, a floral smock and a patchwork string bikini--Woodstock revisited. An original 1960's soft-quilted bag is quite retro and there is a floor-length halter dress for those summer parties in the country. The tee-shirt will have the original logo. Lady Diana loved it in her youth; it remains to be seen whether a new generation will embrace it. :: Laura Ashley

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