How I style Persian pickles to look modern
Red-white and blue outfit style with Oliveo denim skirt, GNW cardigan, top, and BP espadrilles (all Own)

Paisley is a classic ethnic print

Any traditional National pattern may be tricky to incorporate into a work outfit. One of the nicest pattern of Indian/Persian origin in my opinion is paisley. Paisley is often also called “Persian Pickles.” 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. 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 detail as one zooms in. The “style” of the repeated detail depends on where you look like with paisley to a certain degree.

over 50 years old fashion blogger in a business casual work outfit with Persian pickles print and denim skirt
Red silk top with Persian pickles print GNW cardigan, BP espadrilles, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Oliveo denim skirt, Tissot watch, Dolce and Gabbana Madonna sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien leather cuff, coin bracelet, cat cameo necklace and Constance bag (all own)

The British introduced paisley into European fashion

The British really show how to integrate them 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.

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.

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 tens 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 do not get these questions anymore. It actually worked and my friends stopped to introduce me as Nicole who grew up in Germany.

stylist in a Dirndl with paisley print jacket

fashion blogger over 40 in a Dirndl styled for work
GNW cardigan worn as top over a Karl Jaeger dirndl with nude cork plateau sandals, ethnic metal belt, and 3.1 Philip Lim bag (all own)

Party guests expect you to have more than one heritage outfit

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. This print is also known as Persian pickles. Its origin is in the Persian Indian area. Speaking of Indian 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, black, beige and white outfit I added my Philip Lim 3.1 Pashli bag, a gift from my husband.

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Photos by G. Kramm

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