Persian rugs have been popular across the world for centuries and have played a major role in architecture, fashion and design across the middle east for thousand of years. Seen as a symbol of status and wealth Oriental rugs where the floor coverings of the royalty and rich, and something the general public wished to attain.
During the Safavid period a great deal of the Persian culture was exported out and spread into western societies, amongst them was Persian rugs and their designs, one of the most notorious being the Boteh (Paisley) design.
This design dates back around 2500 years and was originally a Zoroastrian design for life and eternity. It has been a prominent feature in rugs and during the Safavid period it was exported through clothing items, shawls and scarfs where covered in paisleys and from Persia via India they came to the United Kingdom. image of paisley shawl next to text.
Today you can still find the paisley design being used in mens ties, handkerchiefs and more recently in dresses, shirts etc.
During the most recent reign of royalty in Persia (The Pahlavi’s) the queen could bee seen wearing Persian designs & floral patterns across her clothes that greatly affected the fashion sense in Persia and the Middle East.
Minimalism in Home Decor & Fashion
From around 2007 there was a noticeable shift in trend towards minimalism in the home decor sector, no longer did people want the more traditional carpets with flowing ornate designs and rich colours. The new trend was to have carpets with nearly no design and very light colours or a very open design with light colours.
This coincided with the move towards monochrome and Scandinavian simplicity with very basic clothing with little design & pattern.
This theme would continue until the end of 2015 when leading interior designs started to move back to mixing modern simplicity with traditional Persian rugs as statement pieces in the room, and this was mirrored in fashion with major fashion houses incorporating designs into their clothes and runways again.
Major fashion houses such as Hermes, Gucci, Givenchy & Tory Burch started using Persian rugs on their catwalks mirroring the trends of interior decor of mixing modern and traditional.
Trend of Fashion Houses Using Persian Rugs in Their Designs
Over the past 4-5 years major fashion houses and high street fashion brands have been moving back to using Persian designs in their clothing, this may be in the form of lining their catwalk with Persian rugs, to naming a collection after a rug design or city and incorporating rugs into the designs of their clothes.
In 2013 Hermes released a new collection named the Tabriz collection at their New York fashion week show, the collection was inspired by the heritage of Tabriz rugs. This wasn’t the first time that Hermes had taken inspiration from rugs, Cathrine Baschet had previously used designs in a Hermes silk scarf named Qalamdan.
With big luxury brands such as Hermes taking inspiration form Persian rugs it was likely that other brands would have been too and others would start to.
One strong example of couture fashion dabbling in this trend is Alexander McQueen, he took a large Persian Nanaj rug a turned it into a 3 piece suit.
However it wasn’t just couture and high end fashion brands that had been pioneering this movement, Topshop released a Persian rug themed tube skirt & jumper designed around a Sarouq rug.
Vans teamed up with the Liberty Prints department and created a range of trainers that have a distinctively Persian flavour to them, using the traditional Persian paisley design on their trainers, this can be seen below.
How Will The Trend Move Forward
With the trend now fully starting to reach the mainstream it is likely to grow in popularity, and with home furniture becoming more subtle and quieter there needs to be a piece that makes a statement, add warmth or tie the room together and this has fallen on the haunches of the humble Persian rug.
We have recently had enquiries from clothing brands such as Reiss asking for sample of rugs to use as inspiration for designs in coming collections, rugs hired by Malena Oddershedebach for photoshoots of her new collection and we see this continuing into the future.