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Chanel and Laura Ashley are at opposite ends of the style spectrum

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As fashion designers the styles of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel and Laura Ashley are at opposite ends of the style spectrum. Becoming one of the most popular brands of our time, Coco Chanel was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist ideals, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of elegant simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. Laura Ashley, still with simplicity in mind, soon became synonymous for her genteel repetitive patterned fabrics, taking inspiration from the Victorian era and twisting them into her own ‘Laura Ashley Look’.

However different Coco Chanel and Laura Ashley appear to be in the fashion world, their creations, attitudes and contributions to the fashion industry are nothing short of phenomenal. Domineering the fashion world for many years, Coco Chanel took was heavily influenced by her own boyish figure and short cropped hair styles and she was renowned for wearing gentlemen’s clothes as she forged out her own ideas of how ladies of her modern world should dress. Like Chanel, Laura Ashley was influenced by her surrounding, but while Chanel was living a life of riches in the city, Laura was more content with being at home in the countryside, enjoying the tranquillity of nature.

 Starting out as a hat designer Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel strived for fame and fortune and it was with this driving factor that she thrust her fashion ideals onto the general public. Laura Ashley however began her entrance into the fashion scene by making scarfs at home on a part time basis. Printing her own fabrics she managed to get them showcased with the help of leading retailer Liberty’s. Although these two designers were influenced by their very different environments, the one thing they have managed to do is sustain their fashion labels as iconic styles within their own rights, not only have they stood the test of time, but they both remain as popular today as they ever have, with Laura Ashley becoming a leading house at the higher end every day fashions and Chanel still pouring out those classical combinations that will never age. Another word that can be attached to both designers is Vintage; From Coco Chanel’s original ‘Little Black Dress’ to Laura Ashley’s Victorian inspired ruffles and genteel prints, both have created unique and individual designs statements which has seen their popularity among those who love vintage clothes grow. If you look back at some of Coco Chanel’s designs from the 60’s and 70’s, you can really see how these spectacular designs are still holding the interest of fashion lovers across the world. Similarly, Laura Ashley’s prints, fabrics, and clothes during the same time period really capture the modern era of the British fashion culture. On the face of it, most people wouldn’t probably put both Coco Chanel and Laura Ashley into the same fashion category, but the fact that they were both extremely dedicated to their cause and their different interpretations of how women should look does indeed pull them together as two of the most original and iconic fashion designers of their time.

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