To continue with my “Indian Summer” theme (because, let’s face it, I’m not ready for summer to end a week from now), I am bringing back this paisley tunic dress from seasons past. We love the gypsy bohemian-inspired vibe here in Los Angeles, and this look is both Stevie Nicks approved and perfect for a weekend of farmer’s market shopping and live music under the stars. If you can pull it off, I think some gladiator sandals would look amazing paired with this, but I’ve got athletic calves so I’ve yet to find a gladiator look that is flattering for me personally.
It is widely believed that the pattern on my paisley tunic dress originated in Persia during the rule of the Sassanian empire from 200-650 AD. The symbol was locally referred to as the “boteh” (meaning shrub or cluster of leaves) which we see represented by the kidney shaped combination of floral elements and a cypress tree. Much later the paisley evolved to be called “buta almond” and today it is the national symbol of Azerbaijan. If you’re not familiar with Azerbaijan, it is a small Eurasian country sandwiched between Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran and the Caspian Sea.
Paisley patterns have been influenced by many cultures over the centuries, and ultimately made its way to the west as a result of the trade in cashmere goods from the Vale of Kashmir, down to India, and onward to Europe. In Indian culture, the paisley has become a motif for a sprouting date palm, an Indian symbol of fertility.