1985 Laura Ashley Crisp White Cotton Strapless Bow Dress

Laura Ashley was a Welsh fashion designer who started making Victorian style, printed headscarves in 1953 with fabric she printed herself at her kitchen table. By 1961, she and her husband had opened their first shop, and by 1966 started to make the dresses she became known for. This dress is from a little later in their timeline and the date was verified by a follower on my Instagram who wore a pink version in 1985 to their prom.

It has that nostalgic feel to it that all the best of her work has. It is an interesting combination of a more formal silhouette but the fabric it is made from is a cotton. This gives it an interesting mix. The dress is strapless with a fitted and boned bodice that is finished with a small ruffled that runs around its upper edge. It dips into a sharp V at the front waist and then under that is one of the most fabulous skirts I have seen. I have styled it over a light crinoline but it has room to be far fuller even then how it looks and even with no crinoline the sheer volume of fabric gives it a wonderful fullness. It is made up of two layers, the inner layer that is a solid white cotton with a deep ruffle hem hidden under the top layer and then over that is a second layer of cotton. That top layer has that same ruffled edge finish as the bodice dies and is gathered up into little lifts all the way around the skirt. Each lift is finished with a tied bow and another bow ties just above that. This would make a gorgeous summer party dress, or even a wedding dress for someone not looking for a traditional gown. Excellent condition 

The bodice is lined in the same fabric and boned for support. It closes with a back metal and nylon zipper. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. The white is crisp and true.

Bust: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 9" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS

Item# DD3023

Reference Photo: From the Laura Ashley Bridal Catalog.

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.