Academic Director of Foxcroft School and Art History Teacher Courtney Ulmer, invited Princess Aliyah on Wednesday, November 5, to give a lecture focused on the introduction of the Kashmir shawls to the West in the 18th century. Princess Aliyah explained to the students how the shawl became the most desired gift among wealthy women of Europe during the 18th century, and ultimately, her own vision for popularizing the shawl in Great Falls in order to bring hope and a better economy to the people of contemporary Kashmir.
#Napoleon Bonaparte inspired the shawl's popularity when he presented a gift of a Kashmir shawl to Empress Josephine, the fashion icon of Europe. Soon she had over 1,000 Kashmir garments. When she wore shawls, coats and other garments hand-spun and hand-woven in Kashmir from the finest natural fibers of high mountain goats, from France to Russia, gifts from Kashmir became the most sought after treasures by European nobility. Great works of art from the 17th & 18th centuries often depict women wearing original Kashmir shawls and dresses.
The students also researched two paintings assigned by Princess Aliyah prior to the lecture. The Kashmir Rose project is launching a new section for Student Art Critics to share their insight and fresh views on painting of the 1700 and 1800s that inspired women to be painted with a Kashmir Shawl.