Equestrian Mistress ~ Gothic Beauty ~ 40s War Bride
~THE MOST ELEGANT & STYLISH
RIDING DRESS ~
Simply Stunning in
supreme quality crepe fabric
~ Equestrian Mistress ~ 40s War Bride ~ WWII ~ Country House ~ Victorian ~
~ Gothic Noir ~ Edwardian Glamour ~ Governess ~ Lady of the Manor
SUPERBLY SHAPED, HANGS BEAUTIFULLY. SO RARE TO FIND
~ by LAURA ASHLEY ~
~ iconic, classic British tailoring by an internationally renowned and admired designer ~
~ Vintage ~ Victorian ~ Gothic Noir ~ Suffragette ~ 40s ~ War Bride ~ WWII ~ Riding ~ Equestrian ~ Lady of the Manor ~ Governess ~ Mistress ~ Edwardian ~ 30s Vamp ~ Just Beautiful...
Equestrian Mistress ~ Gothic Noir ~ Edwardian Vamp ~ 40s War Bride
BEAUTIFUL ~ FLATTERING ~ TIMELESS ~ ELEGANT
For lovers of Laura Ashley and her
early, dark-hued vintage styles ~ equestrian influenced, reminiscent of an elegant
1940s war bride and with characteristic references to the Victorian and
Edwardian periods, especially the equestrian ~ this is such a classic and elegant true vintage piece in
the most romantic, dramatic and divine shade of midnight blue ~ in a soft wool type crepe with added velvet details.
hangs beautifully with elegant, fluid lines in the softest, high quality crepe-feel
fabric with classic tailoring and understated shaping ~ while the same colour
silky lining of the bodice is so indicative of the truly excellent quality and
finish associated with Laura Ashley.
collar of gorgeous midnight blue velvet sits above a row of adorable dark blue
buttons that adorn the front. The waist is defined by an encircling band of
slim, sinuous piping that dips slightly at the front to add a subtle but
sophisticated detail. The sleeves gather and button at each slim cuff just
beautifully ~ and a discreet side zip completes the bodice.
what a wonderful skirt…! It flares with precision panelling which hangs and
drapes with just the right amount of weight, reinforcing the superb quality of
this dress ~ flowing and fluid in the softest most sumptuous swathe of midnight
blue ~ impressive, irresistible and immaculate!
back of the dress equals the front in terms of superlative style and shaping,
giving such a lovely look to this fabulous piece ~ yet another exceptional
example of Laura Ashley’s eye for classic, understated design that defined the
style of her earlier vintage pieces. So well made, elegant, evocative and
sought after, beautifully realised in the most gorgeous fabric of noirish midnight
blue, eminently wearable and exceptionally flattering, with evocations of the
classic equestrian palette ~ such a pleasing, perfect shape that personifies
poise and grace.
The trend for all things
equestrian continues apace, as does the 40s style of sleek, elegant long lines ~
and this dress fits the bill in so many ways and for such an array of occasions. Such a classic yet distinctive shape with a
uniquely flattering style ~and so many ways to wear it! Educe the essence of the elegant Edwardians, echo all things
Equestrian, give in to your inner Governess, be fashionable with 40s flair ~ or
just be fabulous!
65% polyester, 35% viscose/rayon (acetate lining in
bodice) ~ a gorgeous, quality-weight, light wool crepe-feel fabric that feels wonderful and
With the famous LAURA ASHLEY white/green label featuring
the iconic flower sprig inside an oval outline.
UK 14 in label ~ might fit other sizes ~ please see measurements.
EURO 40 in label ~ might fit other sizes ~ please see measurements.
US 10/12 estimated ~ might fit other sizes ~ please see measurements.
All measurements are taken with the garment laid flat so please double up for all the way around where appropriate.
measurements are taken with the garment pulled a bit to flatten (unless stated otherwise) ~ and
please be aware that there is inevitably a slight discrepancy in the
ways different people measure ~ so all measurements are approximate and
please give or take about a ¼ inch or so either way.
Please measure against a similar garment of your own which you know fits you well.
Bust ~ armpit to armpit across front ~ approx: 19½ inches.
Waist ~ approx: 16 inches
Hips ~ Freesize
~ taken from shoulder seam where it meets neckline, and down back of
garment to hem ~ approx: 54 inches ~ remember that with a person
wearing the dress, the length will be taken up a bit.
Sleeve Length ~ taken from shoulder seam and along TOP of sleeve to cuff ~ approx: 24½ inches
STYLING ~ The Equestrian and Victorian Trend ~
‘Equestrian is always in…’ ~ Ralph Lauren
The distinctive and very elegantly sexy Victorian and equestrian looks are very on trend ~ and with their timeless elegance, always will be...
As design icon Ralph Lauren asserts, 'equestrian is always in' ~ perhaps because it can be worn with as much flair as fits your personality and always instils a sense of timeless class and subtle femininity as inherited by the Victorians who were able to achieve both rather admirably. So, don the leather riding boots and delight in the gorgeous hour glass silhouette intrinsic of the riding jacket, or just as striking, the tailcoat, harking back again to the Victorian and Edwardian era.....
Women have always styled and worn their own versions of what is, or was, considered to be ostensibly men’s fashionable dress, with riding coats and all things ‘equestriana’ being no exception. From the 1870s, the more 'masculine' shape of ladies’ riding costume began to evolve into garments reminiscent of their daywear bodices ~ keeping the lapels and collars of men's jackets, but defining the shape of things to come in terms of the now familiar fitted silhouette with it's rather romantic look of defined waist and long frock coat shape.
The dawn of the Edwardian age saw the emergence of the blazer and, with the addition of darts, this new coat shape became trimmed to flatter the female form ~ a silhouette still echoed today in riding coats and jackets.
By the 1910s, womens'’ riding jackets had lengthened ~ a modification that adhered to the long lines of the columnar fashions, resulting in a style that would dominate riding wear well into the 1920s. The introduction of jackets that were cut away at the front came from a solution to the previous square-fronted jackets being damaged against the saddle when riding, while the outer skirt became flared at the back to drape comfortably over the saddle ~ and with the flattering, form-enhancing darts back in place, the cutaway frock coat was quickly adopted as a fashion staple by equestriennes and non-sporting women alike to become the classic, definitive 'riding' jacket.
The distinctive, beautiful and timeless shapes of Victorian and Edwardian riding wear are fully evident in the modern trend for the equestrian look, with smart yet sexy coat and jacket shapes in various styles and lengths ~ single or double breasted, in wool/cashmere, tweed or velvet; short, chic jackets with military embellishment in the form of buttons, loops or braiding; long, flowing velvet coats with contrast trim, corset-style lacing, fitted or belted waists and bustle-style backs; the classic shape and authentic look of riding coats with smart tailoring and asymmetrical buttoning ~ it’s little wonder that contemporary designers and brands such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Hermès constantly extol the virtues of, and continue to rework, the equestrian aesthetic.
Riding wear often stands out from other looks with its fabulous and fitted tailoring, powerful silhouettes, romantic elegance, smart detailing and the often huge sweeping coat skirts. These are garments that continue to stand the test of time and whether vintage or contemporary, they evoke the Victorian ethos for quality, shape and style that’s perfect for a trend able to traverse so many modern looks; from the elegance of the courtyard and countryside via Goth, Dandy, Poet, Mistress, Steampunk, military, pirate and more...equestrian style is endlessly evocative and beautifully timeless...
HISTORY ~ Laura Ashley ~ Classic, Beautiful, Timeless ~
"I reckon that women looked
their best at the turn of the century..." ~ Laura Ashley
Laura Ashley are one of the world's most recognizable British brands and have over 40 years experience in making beautiful clothing with retro styling and timeless chic, capturing the essence of the Victorian and Edwardian eras which make all of their designs quintessentially English and timeless. Or just think of the literary heroines of the Regency era with a contemporary bohemian twist...
Laura's love of all things Victorian led to the
longer length silhouette which would become the company's
trademark and was right on trend at the end of the 1960s when fashion turned
from the mini to the maxi ~ a trend that has since returned with force, emphasising
Laura Ashley's timeless quality.
In 1961 Laura Ashley and her husband Bernard Ashley
moved from their Kent home, the original design and production venue, to Carno
in Wales to enable them to expand the business and be inspired by the rolling Welsh
Having expanded into clothing design and
manufacture in the 1960s, in 1966 Laura produced her first dresses for social
rather than work attire ~ these were the first ‘true’ Laura Ashley dresses which
often evoked a rural, 19th century feel, characterised by romantic
designs and the use of natural fabrics ~ in
plums, browns, earth-hewn tones and other darker colours that lent themselves
to a colour palette which reflected quality, subtlety and nostalgia ~ the
latter mirroring a trend in dressing that came with the end of the 60s.
The longer length silhouette became the company’s
trademark and worked in their favour, as fashion lengths switched from mini to
maxi. But compared with the popular 'county lifestyle' image of Laura Ashley
clothes, the originals were, if anything, anti-fashion. The dresses were made
from the textiles printed by the company, often in natural fabrics, and the
designs were sometimes modern interpretations of antique prints (influences
included English Medieval, William Morris, Chinese and Egyptian). She had hit upon a "brand new version of the past”.
A major influence on her dress designing was her 'Wren’s
uniform': "The uniform was a very good quality navy gabardine and you could
press it and wear it with a clean white cotton shirt and collar and tie...and with a nice, elegant little hat and black leather shoes." This
styling became particularly evident in her beautifully tailored riding dresses
and equestrian influenced clothes ~ a vintage style that continues to influence modern
The ‘Laura Ashley look’ became synonymous with a
graceful simplicity in women’s styles and the enduring popularity of long,
period-inspired gowns or voluminous peasant dresses, riding dresses and equestrian style coats, with their effortlessly
vintage appeal and evocations of the idyllic pastoral lifestyle ~ while her
dresses and blouses were noted for their Victorian-like high necks and full
sleeves, softened by lace and crochet.
Laura Ashley had studied 18th and 19th century prints in
museum collections for her miniature floral patterns and her countryside
aesthetic towards the end of the sixties saw the business boom (and bloom) with
extraordinary and rapid success that proved to be built on an almost unshakeable
Having opened her first shop in Machynlleth in 1960, and her first London shop in 1968, the early vintage/heritage inspired designs of
this arbiter of fashion and lifestyle became so in demand (in one week alone, the
Fulham Road shop sold 4,000 dresses) that by the mid 70s, dresses from her
factories in the heart of mid Wales were being sold across Europe and by the
mid 1980s, there were over 200 stores across the world.
Currently, the desire to reference vintage style in fashion has returned and vintage fashion is now extremely sought after everywhere, boosting the popularity of Laura Ashley’s vintage pieces which are now being exhibited in vintage collections and coveted by collectors worldwide. Laura Ashley’s early designs are now used as inspiration by couture designers ~ and similar, nostalgically beautiful, prints are emerging all over the fashion industry. A look at the runways reveal the influence that Laura Ashley has had on modern fashion, as vintage inspired pieces and fabrics and patterns strut down the catwalk, from floral Victorian style dresses to dark Noir equestrian pieces, causing fashion editors to reminisce on the romantic aspect of fashion’s history and on Laura Ashley’s iconically important place within it.
Laura Ashley's significant place in British fashion history was further cemented in Summer 2013
with the first major retrospective of the designer held at Bath’s fashion
museum and the Bowes museum in Co Durham ~ showcasing over 70 vintage dresses and
capturing Laura Ahley's characteristic look of the 60s and 70s which inspired a generation
This vintage British brand evoked a sense of permanence with its links to the past and
dependence on the natural that contrasted dramatically during its emergence
with the more transient and overtly manufactured styles of other designers. Its association with excellent tailoring and quality is famous worldwide ~ and it has at its
heart a classic, timeless endurance which became the Laura Ashley ethos and signature look and which has become extremely sought after today.
Their vintage pieces are now collected, worn, adored and desired! ~ and once you have seen and worn their clothing you'll know why they are so adored!
printing headscarves in 1953 to the immutable style icon that she has become,
perhaps Laura Ashley’s success can be summed up by her attitude to fashion:
don’t like ephemeral things; I like things that last forever...”
THEATRE of FASHION
20th Century Vintage & Contemporary