Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Ol Autumn, She's a' Comin!

I know we are all feeling it in the air already and the excitement mounts.  We who love fall, do so because of the feelings it generates inside our hearts.  The nesting instinct kicks into overdrive and we want to get out the wool throws, stock up on wood by the wood stove and break our our comforting fall recipes like beef stews and chili.  Time to gather the family around and regroup.

Our NW mornings are now cold and foggy, burning off to sunshine in the late afternoon.  Evenings are getting to the point where I have to shut windows overnight.

But when I think of fall coming on, I still remember the days long past now, when I was young and working in the Seattle Laura Ashley shop downtown.  I LOVED getting the giant coffin boxes delivered, loaded with the entire fall collection.  I was the stockroom person so when I wasn't on the sales floor, I was in the back, unpacking the wool or babywale cord dresses, the wool Scottish sweaters and Italian silk scarves, sent straight from Wales!  I was then assigned to make over the floor, and would be there most the night, setting up the displays and racks of new fall clothes. It was always fun to reveal the new look in the morning to early bird commuters walking past our windows at 4th and University.

I still have many of the old catalogs we Laura Ashley published for clothing and home.  Here are some choice fashions from Autumn 1990, my most favorite season and year of them all.
It was a season of tartans velvet, great wool hats and navy floral skirts and dresses.  I think I bought 2 dresses (a very big splurge for me back then but with a 40% employee discount, it hurt less) and got one dress on allotment.  As a FT employee, we got a free dress or skirt/top combo, according to how many hours weekly one worked.  Of course it was mandatory you wear Laura Ashley every day so if you were new, you wore that one dress EVERY DAY!  LOL
   My most favorite dress of all came from that 1990 Autumn season collection...the blue floral babywale corduroy Welsh farmhouse dress, pictured here on the model leaning against a rock.
   Maybe when I'm old, I will move back to my native rural Wisconsin countryside and dress like this again, and live like Tasha Tudor.  ;)
   I feel bad for anyone who never heard of Laura Ashley or walked into one of the shops to see the beautiful Welsh dresses, wool English coats, Scottish sweaters and so on, on display.  Everything smelled like Laura Ashley No1 parfum...

Enjoy this walk back in time to when we still enjoyed Laura Ashley right here in the states and had access to some of the most romantic, sought after and well made clothing at that time.  This is how I feel about fall every year - imagining I am dressed in romantic clothing, wandering the English countryside...

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