One of the big trend in prints this season is paisely. Actually, it’s a very classic pattern. Thus, when you like or love it, now it’s a good time to invest and stock up on verythings paisley. Especially ties (think holiday gifts for the male part of the family) and scarves are great pieces to buy. This post educates about the origin of the print and how to style paisely in an ageless look.
- Paisley Is a Classic Ethnic Print
- What’s a Mandelbrot pattern?
- The British Introduced Paisley into European Fashion
- Paisley Oufit Ideas
- 279th Top of the World Style Linkup Party
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.
Paisley Is a Classic Ethnic Print
Paisley is an eternal classic that pops up as a trend every couple of years. When not a trend, it’s there as a business casual classic print for ties and scarves as well as blouses. It’s also a favorite print in high quality resort style. Like any traditional National pattern, it may be tricky to incorporate into a work outfit when your dress code is corporate style or plain casual. See this guide on how to look ageless in global pattern.
Did you know that paisley is often also called “Persian Pickles”?
Paisley is one of the nicest pattern of Indian/Persian origin. It’s a droplet-shaped vegetable motif which is very interesting. It seems to repeat the pattern in itself over and over again like the Mandelbrot set.
What’s a Mandelbrot Pattern?
The Mandelbrot set images rely on sampling complex numbers. The complex quadratic polynomial z(n+1)=z(n)*z(n)+c is iterated. Here c is a complex number of the Mandelbrot set if, when starting with z(0)=0 and repeating the iteration n+1 times, the absolute value of |z(n)| stays bounded even if n gets large, i.e. towards infinity. For instance, for c=2 you get 0, 2, 6, 38, 1446, 2090918, etc. which runs to infinity, i.e. is not bounded and does not deliver a Mandelbrot image. If you take c=-1 you get 0, -1, 0, -1, etc., i.e. a Mandelbrot image. These Mandelbrot images display elaborated boundaries that show progressively smaller and smaller repeating details as one zooms in. The “style” of the repeated detail depends on where you look – like with paisley to a certain degree.
The British Introduced Paisley into European Fashion
Men who worked for the Trading Companies in India and Persia adopted the paisley shawls. These shawls became a high fashion accessory between the end of the 18th century to the 1870s. They shawls were perfect to add some insulation over the thin muslins of the Empire silhouette dresses that were in fashion at the end for the 18th century. They remained in fashion after the empire style as it was difficult to wear a coat over the crinoline skirts and dresses that became fashionable thereafter during the Romantic Style era. The original paisley shawls were hand-made and extremely expensive. Thus, European manufacturers produced cheap copies for the masses. Scotland became the center for these reproduced shawls.
Still today, the British really show how to integrate the pattern into the western culture with their paisley ties or vests. The print works well with solid colors, but also with plaid, Prince of Wales check or stripes.
Paisley oufit ideas
The photos below show a classic cut tunic dress with this eternal pattern.
Please feel free to pin the photos to your Pinterest post.
The next paisley outfit idea feature the above cardigan worn as top with a red suede skirt.
When You Are an Immigrant Traditional Clothing Is a Party Must-have
When I came to Alaska my friends told other guests at parties that I grew up in Germany. Then these people always asked why I would not wear a dirndl. I then had to explain that I grew up in a region where women would not wear dirndls. Dirndls are only worn in Bavaria which is the southern part of Germany.
Germany is not Bavaria.
After explaining this for the tenth time or so I was tired of it. I felt like I sound like a broken record. Thus, I decided to just get a Karl Jäger dirndl and wear it to parties, so I would not get these questions anymore. It actually worked the first time and my friends stopped to introduce me as Nicole who grew up in Germany. However, the second time I wore the dirndl in the sort of the same group, I started to regret that I bought this beaufiful dirndl.
In the look below, I integrate my paisley cardigan into a semi-casual work outfit by adding a dark blue denim straight skirt and a silk short sleeve knit silk top. Recall it is sort of chilly on gray days in Fairbanks summer. Temperatures then remain in the lower 60s (15.5-17oC). Thus, all you can do is to try to create a summery look to stay warm.
Well, dirndls are very expansive. Thus, wearing them only for parties would be a high cost per wear. Here I am wearing the dirndl as a skirt and paired it with a GNW cardigan as a top. The cardigan has a paisley print. To add some shape I belted the cardigan with a metal belt made by a Native American artist. To add a pop of color to the blue, beige, black and white outfit I added my Philip Lim 3.1 Pashli bag, a gift from my husband.
Even in the German dirndls paisley was adopted as a pattern embedded in the stripes of the aprons.
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279th Top of the World Style linkup party
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Mandelbrot, B. (1982) The Fractal Geometry of Nature. W. H. Freeman and Co..
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (retrieved 2020)
Prakash, K. (2008). Paisley Designs. United States: Dover Publications.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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