Yokes that turn into pocket flaps are an established element of western wear design. I’ve had it at the back of my mind to try some on a Dandy & Rose shirt, but the idea really took hold when I was doing some research for my PhD in the Nudie’s archive in The Autry Museum of The American West a few months ago. I kept seeing jackets in the style and was suddenly inspired to try the same thing, but with mixed prints.
My friend and customer Bill DeMain, who is a songwriter and journalist as well as running Walkin’ Nashville, a fun and informative walking tour of Nashville (where, in fact, he and I met), gave me the chance. He picked out a Dandy & Rose favourite, the Liberty paisley, Lagos Laurel. I suggested mixing two colours of the print, and Bill opted for blue and red. Although it’s now a Liberty classic, ‘Lagos Laurel’ was introduced in 2012 in celebration of the London Olympics, and features a laurel wreath in amongst the paisley motifs.
It’s been a grim, foggy weekend, full of undone Christmas preparations, so I have been glad to have this sunny yellow paisley shirt to focus on.
The fabric is Liberty’s paisley ‘Lagos Laurel’. I seem to recall that is a 1930s print from the Liberty archive. They reintroduced it to the range in 2012 in honour of the London Olympics – see the little laurel wreath tucked in amongst the paisley motifs?
I have made several shirts in Lagos Laurel previously…
Jim Lauderdale’s shirt in Liberty ‘Lagos Laurel’ with yokes in ‘Glenjade’
Michael’s shirt in Liberty’s paisley ‘Lagos Laurel’
Reed’s mixed print shirt in Liberty’s ‘Lagos Laurel’, ‘Mitsi’
but I haven’t used this lovely, rich, buttery yellow before. And I don’t think I have used yellow snaps before either. What a joy!
The paisley motif comes originally from Iran; its meaning is debated by design historians, but it may represent a twisted tree or floral bouquet.
Woman’s shirt in Liberty London’s ‘Charles’
Lorna Simes’ shirt in Liberty London’s ‘Charles’
The shape became popular in Europe when Kashmir shawls using the design began to be imported from India in the seventeenth century. Spurred on by the invention of the Jacquard loom in the early nineteenth century, weavers in the Scottish town of Paisley began to produce shawls featuring its characteristic droplet shape; Victorian ladies were mad for them, and the design came to be known as the ‘paisley pattern’.
This shirt was commissioned by a Scottish lady who now lives in the USA. I hope the paisley design and the Scottish element in its history, remind her of home!
I love working with paisleys. Who would have thought that such a simple shape could have had so many variations? And it’s classic and elegant, but ever since it had its fashion comeback in the psychedelic 60s, it’s been a little bit hippy-dippy too.
This is Liberty’s design ‘Charles’, a new addition to the classic range this year. So pretty in this pastel blue!