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Naghmeh Kiumarsi is a leading designer based in Tehran. Bridging past and present in her designs, her collection for the Edinburgh Iranian Festival revolved around the concept of time.

Velvet jacket and top

This short jacket in bright yellow velvet is quilted all over with a subtle pattern of circles and palmettes. Resembling the fan-shaped leaves of a palm tree, the palmette has been used as a decorative motif in Iranian art for centuries.

Along the front run two rows of cast bronze buttons, each with one letter of the Persian word zaman-e abadi (زمان ابدی), eternity. Taking up the direction of Persian writing, the buttons on the right, as the viewer sees it, carry from top to bottom the letters of the first word, ن - ا - م - ز, while those on the left show the letters of the second one, ی - د - ب - ا.

The matching top captivates by the use of contrasting colours. A square yellow inset at the front and the back forms the shoulder straps. The fitted top with a flare at the hemline is made of crimson velvet and quilted with parallel lines of straight stitches.

Jacket and top are lined with printed cotton. Both linings show patterns inspired by the visual arts of Mughal India, although these motifs were also common in Iran around the same time. The small portraits in oval frames show Mughal shahs and ladies of the harem, while flower bushes, as seen in the lining of the top, graced a wide range of materials from textiles to architecture. 

Above: Jacket and top © Naghmeh Kiumarsi. Accession numbers V.2015.15.1-2.


Above: Detail of the lining of the jacket and one of the buttons showing the letter Alif.

I created my style by combining modern art with Persian tradition.
- Naghmeh Kiumarsi
  • V.2015.15.1 open.jpg

    Jacket and top with detail of the printed lining.

  • Quilted sleeve.jpg

    Detail of the quilting on the jacket.

  • V.2015.15. detail label.jpg

    Naghmeh Kiumarsi's label on the outside of the jacket. The letters of her name form the frame and are written in the centre.

  • Floral lining detail.jpg

    Detail of the floral cotton lining inside the top.

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