NEW YORK — Laura Ashley is changing its look for spring. The company celebrated two events in 1993 — its 40th anniversary and the naming of former Max Mara designer Eric Bremmer as its design director. And Bremmer is breathing new life into the company this season by combining the traditional and the new to create a fresher, more contemporary collection. Bremmer began his revamping with an Ashley signature — print dresses. He’s making them younger by doing them in softer fabrics and more body-conscious shapes. There are Empire-waisted, floral-print silk georgette dresses reminiscent of Thirties’ tea dresses, playful apron dresses with delicate ties at the waist and deep indigo madras dresses worn with crisp white petticoats.

When Bremmer turns his attention to sportswear, he takes the understated route with sand, ecru and stone linen Nehru jackets, pants and dresses. And cotton ballet wrap tops go over everything from dresses to palazzo pants.