Man at LA – The new menswear line from British classic, Laura Ashley
Laura Ashley, an iconic British household name with a rich history spanning 60 years of British culture, has undeniably come a very long way from its humble beginnings at a kitchen table in London. The brand is now synonymous with shabby chic interiors and dainty floral patterns. Contrastingly enamoured with Victoriana influences and a desire to move speedily with the times, the Ashleys were fabric and textile printing pioneers.
Having successfully ventured throughout the years into fashion, lifestyle, furniture and homeware goods; 2013 marks Laura Ashley’s seemingly natural progression into menswear. If you’re thinking floral prints, piecrust collars and heritage styles, your expectations will almost be met … at least on the floral front anyway.
Currently, the Man at LA collection consists of a range of slim-fit cotton shirts in various striped, checked and plain fabrics; the aforementioned floral prints come through on subtle linings and trims on the collars, plackets and cuffs of a number of shirts. Ultimately, the styles are in keeping with Laura Ashley’s recognisable branding but with a clearly masculine edge. Ranging in size from small to extra large, the Italian-made products boast a £70 price tag and will be available online and in some selected stores.
The undeniably modest 14-shirt capsule collection demonstrates a careful, if not apprehensive, introductory foray into the menswear sector, although I for one have a sneaky suspicion that other garments will soon follow. After all, what are those debonair floral-loving creatures going to wear on their bottom halves?
The tragic and unquestionably premature death of the label’s co-founder and namesake in the mid-80s certainly didn’t herald the end of the British high-street classic. Instead the brand has continually stood for quality, with this new adventure validating the notion that after 60 epic years, Laura Ashley still garners its proud-to-be-British reputation and entices an audience looking for timeless appeal.