Laura Ashley (7 September 1925 17 September 1985) was a Welsh fashion designer and businesswoman. She originally made furnishing materials in the 1950s.She later expanded into clothing design and manufacture in the 1960s. The Laura Ashley style is characterized by Romantic English designsoften with a 19th-century rural feeland the use of natural fabrics. Although her Welsh parents lived in London, just before her birth, her mother returned home to allow Laura Mountney to be born Welsh at her grandmother's home, 31 Station Terrace, in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil. She was raised in a civil service family as a Strict Baptist. The chapel she attended in Dowlais (Hebron) was Welsh language and although she could not understand the language, she loved it, especially the singing. Educated at Marshall's School in Merthyr Tydfil until 1932, she was then sent to the Elmwood School, Croydon.
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