Mini Moderns rub shoulders with commuters on the 08.15 from Beckenham Junction, whilst dreaming of the East, with their new wallpaper ‘Paisley Crescent’…..
Inspired by the characters and settings of Hanif Kureishi’s novel ‘The Buddha of Suburbia’, the ‘Paisley Crescent’ print fuses the ornamentation of a traditional Indian-inspired paisley design with the ordered iconography of life in the commuter belt.
The design duo see ‘Paisley Crescent’ as typically Mini Moderns, with its narrative approach to pattern and diverse range of influences. They explain: “This is the second print from our 2012 collection, ‘The Buddha of Suburbia’, which explores a diverse range of aesthetic influences that can be traced back to the 1970s – a period that set the template for the uniquely British culture mash-up we enjoy today”.
The print illustrates elements of the novel’s narrative through a wealth of imagery. Suburban life is depicted through rows of Tudorbethan and Art Deco houses. A border of racing bikes represents the main character of the story cycling to leafy Chislehurst, in turn evoked by the border of trees around the Common.
Meanwhile, the Buddha aspect of the print comes in the form of a many-petaled lotus motif, symbolizing the crown chakra. Stars are also scattered around the design, lending it a sequined 1970s glam rock look. Printed in both positive and negative colorways, the print displays great versatility in the way it can be seen as a strong graphic paisley or a delicate, lacy repeat.
Mini Moderns designers Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire first got interested in the origins of paisley whilst researching and writing their successful series of books ‘Communicating with Pattern’. They explain: “Our paisley-with-a-twist goes right back to the pattern’s tradition of mixing Eastern influences with British manufacture. Although the original design is Iranian and Indian in origin, its commonly known name derives from the Scottish town of Paisley where, due to the overwhelming success of already imported original Indian material, the fabric industry had to design and produce its own versions to meet demand.”
Following the Beatles’ ’68 pilgrimage to India, paisley enjoyed a resurgence of interest in the late sixties and early seventies – with the style making its mark on the suburbia where Hanif Kureishi grew up, and where the story opens. The design continues to influence interior and fashion designers alike, with paisley once more making an appearance on the catwalk.
‘Paisley Crescent’ is available in 5 colourways: Chalkhill Blue, Concrete, Pale Verdigris, Lido and Tangerine Dream.
The wallpaper comes in 10m x 52cm rolls printed with waterbased inks on paper from sustained forests. £45 per roll