Monday, December 24, 2012

HOLIDAY PAISLEY FROM THE RUBIN MUSEUM

Metallic gold and green design of graceful vines that have grown holiday paisley

When Akbar, the famous mughal emperor (1542-1605), first got the inspiration to bring Kashmir's yarn producers and spinners, dyers and weavers together — both Moslem and Hindu — for his important shawl project, it was with the knowledge that the boteh or paisley motif that would be used in the designs was sacred.  It was to be worn only by very important men.  Somehow through centuries of weaving and printing, we continue to recognize the power and dignity of the motif when it decorates clothing, home furnishings and stationery, even birthday cards and shopping bags.

Above, a hand-stamped design on a card from The Rubin Museum of Art gift shop, New York. By its very two-color simplicity on a blank card, it offers a special inspiration. 
Happy holidays. JP

Monday, December 3, 2012

NOTICE-ME 1970s PAISLEY

Jonathan Adler's paisley print for upholstery
Madison Avenue window


Isn't it interesting that giant prints for home, fashion and art are making a  retro-return right now?  Take a walk down Madison Avenue.  We are seeing them in on the upholstery of Jonathan Adler furniture and in fun-and-statusy Milly dresses.  Stop at a news store.  We are seeing them on the 40th anniversary cover of W magazine with Rooney Mara wearing a geometric-patterned Prada coatdress. Make a turn onto Fifth Avenue and there are two gigantic Warhol flower prints taking twin-star positions on either side of The Met's main entrance doors, matched stunningly with equally gigantic real flower arrangements in the flower niches.  Take Fifth down to around 24th Street and there is a brand new Marimekko store with the same outsize poppy prints that made them a sensation from the 1950s to 1970s.

Admittedly, these giant prints are not always paisley, but there are enough paisleys to  make a noise about them -- not only Adler's upholstery, but single-paisley area rugs, giant paisley drapes, pillows and tablecloths from a variety of design houses and catalog companies.

It seems time to celebrate the Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) -- a generation influenced by 1970s-80s  Me Generation and rushing towards grandparenthood.  As St├ęphane Houy-Towner observes, "Design fashion usually skips a generation.  The new generation likes to look back to its grandparents".  Perhaps Gaga's Little Monsters are not far from the Me's.  Both generations want to be noticed.  And yes, we do notice!  JP