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My Favourites

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Why heritage Laura Ashley is trending

When was the last time you set shopped in Laura Ashley? Er, never. And yet vintage pieces are making a mint on eBay and have inspired SS20's high street collections.

This week we were on the verge of mourning the loss of yet another iconic British brand, and fashion journalists were throwing their heads in their hands in despair. Why? Because it doesn’t take Mystic Meg to see that Laura Ashley’s heritage collections were inspiring hot-right-now-brands like Doên, The Vampire’s Wife, Zimmerman and Stine Goya – and yet no one had a lightbulb moment.

Even Jacqueline Durran’s Oscar-winning costumes of Little Women were keeping the fashion fires burning with more ruffles, tiered hems and puffed sleeves than Princess Diana’s wedding dress. Laura Ashley had been there, done it and got the flouncy blouse to prove it. And yet, the only place you’ll find these gems are on eBay – and the rare Laura Ashley Made In Wales vintage dresses are going for well over £100. Now it would seem LA has “listened to their customers” and will be giving their back catalogue CPR. Kerching – new customers! Maybe..

While we wait for this new arrival and pray to the fashion gods that time isn’t running out on the prairie, vintage trend (or the company finances), here are five fabulously flouncy frocks to waft about in from now until summer. That’s enough alliteration, for now… sashay this way.

Living on a prairie

Follow the fashion crowd and blow the budget on the ultimate prairie dress, courtesy of Doên. Available exclusively at Net-A-Porter, this Californian brand has all the Laura Ashley vibes and is big on sustainability. This is not a 'skinny' brand, so we can all get in on the ditsy floral prints and puffy sleeves and ruffle trim.

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Smock 'n' roll

Plain, printed or somwhere in between, if you're looking for for a big sleeve, tiered frock, you'll find it at & Other Stories. If this dress doesn;t say Laura Ashley Made in Wales 1970, I don't know what does. It's a stunner.

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Retro ruffles

If you're not keeping a beady eye on Warehouse right now, click through, because this high street brand is killing right now. case in point this great value smock dress that's easy to throw on, looks more expensive than it is and is roomy enough for you to hit the all you can eat buffet hard.

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Pretty pinny

The chances are the last time you wore a pinafore, you were in singles digits, but this Zara dress is grown up, gorgeous and gives you the chance to be as flamboyant or simple with your layering choices. Go shirtless and you risk getting arrested.

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Fine vintage

If you don't fancy paying £1000 for a frock 'n' roll The Vampire's Wife dress, then check out Kitri Studio's Rochelle. It has just as much drama and vintage styling just without the prixe tag.

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She's electric

If you're not feeling the florals, check out Copenhagen-based Stine Goya's electric blue tiered mini dress, available at Mojo & McCoy in Hungerford. All the drama without being ditsy and plenty of room if you want to dodge the salad.

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