Southerners embrace Laura Ashley’s bright botanical prints as their own, but many may be surprised to learn the iconic brand originated in Wales, UK. As the heritage brand celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, Laura Ashley unveils its most popular prints across its decades-long history alongside a new design that showcases the evolution of the brand’s story.
The shoppable limited-edition anniversary collection, Prints Through the Decades, is available online exclusively in the curated Anniversary Shop, which features several nostalgic prints reimagined for today’s fashion and homes. This deep dive into the archive brings new vision to traditional Laura Ashley prints that pair nicely alongside the latest designs from the brand.
Laura Ashley’s designers have resized and recolored the 1990s-era Tulips print in a fresh palette. “Its loose, painterly style of tulips and daffodils sparks joy and brings a wonderful play on nostalgia,” says Helen Ashmore, head of design at Laura Ashley. For this collection, Tulips is available in wallpaper, bed linens and fabric.
Signature print Summer Palace has appeared in more than 20 different colorways since its introduction in 1988, inspired by an antique Edwardian chintz chair. Five other designs in the Laura Ashley archive evolved from this pattern. “The design is instantly recognizable as Laura Ashley; it is the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary year. We created two new colorways for our collection, as well as bringing back the classic Eau de Nil version in wallpaper. Summer Palace really is a true icon to our heritage brand,” says Ashmore.
Josette, an ornate damask featuring elegant chandeliers and romantic rose bouquets, is reintroduced in new finishes and textures. “This timeless design, which combines simplicity with natural glamour, has established its position as a signature pattern since first being introduced in 2003,” Ashmore says. “It was originally inspired by a sample of an antique printed silk in our archives and is styled by designers to evoke a sense of classicism with a modern edge.”
Inspired by an antique painting in the Laura Ashley archive, Gosford’s bold parrot tulip blooms create a lively print recolored in two new versions—purple Grape and calming Seaspray Blue.
The quintessential and charming Country Roses print debuted in 1985 as wallpaper and other home furnishings, featuring cabbage roses with blooming buds and leaves. It is reimagined this year for commemorative fine bone china mugs, tea towels and aprons. “This design has been updated for the anniversary collection to incorporate another print from the archive, Wexboard trellis, to give a modern twist to the traditional rose print,” Ashmore says.
“In the spirit of this milestone year, the Bramble print reemerges in the spotlight, capturing hearts anew with its delicate blossoms and berries elegantly sprawled across a luxurious backdrop of fresh green. This enchanting ensemble, tinted with hints of crisp white and pale blue, has swiftly become one of the most sought-after bedding sets of 2023,” says Ashmore. The Bramble duvet cover and pillow shams reverse to plaid, evoking a timeless British sense of style and tradition. “The reintroduction of this 1990s print not only pays homage to Laura Ashley’s renowned floral legacy but also showcases the brand’s finesse for artful combinations of patterns and delicate details. From Wickerwork to Wood Violet, we’ve reintroduced some of the icons of the past to evoke nostalgia but also to show how timeless these designs truly are,” Ashmore adds.
A new print, Tregaron, is a forward-looking hero print that shows the company’s focus on the future as well as its history. Inspired by classical French tonal designs, Tregaron features cranes on decorative damask with a romantic, elegant look captured via beaded swags and scrolling leaves and flowers. “Our 70th anniversary is an important time to look back on the heritage of the brand, but today’s decade and the future are equally important to us. We introduced this new print to show how the story continues to develop and evolve,” Ashmore says.
The anniversary collection carries Laura Ashley’s collectible anniversary stamp, featuring the recognizable bramble from the early logo inspired by the entrepreneur Laura Ashley’s love for wildflowers and British hedgerows. “Laura Ashley remains synonymous with beauty and design. She was a trailblazer and icon, and we are thrilled to continue her legacy through this year and beyond,” says Ashmore. “As our story reaches its seventh decade, the extensive heritage and rich archive of almost 100,000 pieces continue to inspire collections that celebrate nostalgia.”
Shop the full Anniversary Collection of fashion, fabric, wallcoverings, bedding and accessories online as long as supplies last. *
Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and art.