This Edwardian wool paisley jacket with striking floral appliqués was acquired by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli while scavenging vintage sale auctions in London in the summer of 1994. She wore it on many occasions before eventually adding it to The Zay Collection.
This is a woollen women’s jacket with beautiful symmetrical floral designs on the edges. With a red base, the jacket displays a plethora of (paisley) intricate floral motifs on its body in an overlapping and crisscross arrangement.
The high neckline at the back, straight open front with no fastenings, and wide loose sleeves indicate that it was perhaps used as an overcoat with enough room for layers underneath. Originally the piece was perhaps a (shawl) that was later repurposed into a jacket. This is evident from the two different materials with which it is constructed. The body is constructed of a woven woollen base while the edges are hand-stitched (appliqued) pieces of printed cotton. It is a beautiful floral-patterned print of a rose bouquet with green foliage and other flowers in pale blue. The pattern repeats itself along the edge in a scallop-like format giving a symmetric balance on both sides of the opening and running along the rear bottom hem, as well as the sleeves.
The construction of the jacket with wide, 3/4 length, lose sleeves, the almost straight drop or fall, and the scalloped arrangements of the bouquets on the borders indicates towards its late Edwardian and early (Art_Deco) origin when European and Western fashion aesthetics reflected its global influence not just through raw materials, techniques, or motifs but also in its construction – in this case possibly a (kimono). Cumbersome women’s fashion of the Victorian era with (crinolines), (bustles), and (corsets) gave way to far more fluid, and slender silhouettes of the (flapper) dresses, a nod towards a modern changing society with more freedom and rights for women.