First, we told you all about the Canadian computer algorithm that created your digi camo. Then, we dropped some 19th-century knowledge about your nautical knitwear, revealing that a traditional piece has 21 stripes representing each one of Napoleon's victories.
Now, we're here to tell you that your foolproof fancy print actually has a deep, detailed history of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. Yeah -- we're talking about paisley.
1. It was a Summer of Love staple.
Though the pattern has been around for centuries, paisley returned to prominence during the Summer of Love in the '60s, when it became a pronounced symbol of psychedelic style
. And then, thanks to the Beatles' trip to India in 1968, it soon morphed into a ubiquitous emblem that came to represent a newfound spirituality.
2. It's extremely sexy... literally.
While there are many theories behind what the print means, most of them circle back to sex. Some design scholars believe
it symbolizes "the convergence of a stylized floral spray and a cypress tree: a Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity." Others
claim the print resembles a curled palm frond just as it begins to grow -- a symbol of fertility. Then, there are the super-literal crowd
who believe it's an ovary and/or sprouting bean
3. It was such a hit that it required patenting.
Paisley became so popular that, in the 19th century
, designers began to patent their patterns.
4. It can protect you from evil.
In lore-heavy regions like Estonia and Latvia, the pattern was believed to ward off demons.
5. It represents rebellion and counter culture.
The hippies appropriated the style first, but now the pattern has an unfortunate connotation with gangs across America. Paisley bandanas are to bike gangs what bell-bottoms are to the mid-'60s.
6. Prince's entire record label & studio were inspired by the pattern.
The ovary/sprouting bean shaped print even had a hand in the history of rock 'n roll. Prince, as a tribute to Paisley
, created Paisley Park Records and established Paisley Park Studios (both of which were named after his song Paisley Park
7. First Prince, then Fender.
Paisley didn't stop its rock influence at Prince. Fender Guitars made a pink Paisley version
of their classic Telecaster by adding paisley wallpaper to the guitar body. An original will run you about $10K