What do Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni, Emilio Pucci, Alberta Ferreti, Grace Kelly, Cate Blanchet, Christina Hendricks, Elizabeth Taylor, and well a load more extraordinary talent have in common? It’s the humble kaftan.
The kaftan has come a long way since the early days of the Persian Empire (600 BC), when soldiers wore them under chain mail armor. The word itself is Persian and translates to a battle garment worn by soldiers. Who knew?
Since it’s practical days as a battle garment, it has evolved into a plethora of different shapes, sizes and colours, to become
a fashion icon, one that can adapt to all manner of environments. As we know, kaftans are not just for the beach, at varying lengths and with varying levels of colour, print and detail, this glorious piece can be worn am and pm.
The kaftan trend has re-emerged throughout the history of fashion. It was first introduced into western culture in the 60’s but really made a scene in 1967 when the Beatles made a trip to India and were influenced by their yogi and guru Maharishi Mahesh. Morocco and its use of the kaftan held great influence over designers and the jet set in the 60’s through to the 70’s with fashion greats such a Diana Vreeland, Yves Saint Laurent and Talitha Getty gliding about in this diaphanous piece. Yes, it works on men too.
Fashionable, comfortable & versatile, of course it is no surprise that it is still donned by people with discerning taste today. It has a unique ability to change with the times, with embellishments and diverse patterns and detail offering a more feminine silhouette. The drapey dress appeals to a diverse audience, from starlets on the red carpet to diplomats at state dinners to music festivals and the streets and beaches of Australia. Viva la kaftan.
The snakeskin print kaftan My Size designed in time for Christmas sold out in seconds but, great news, it will be in store and online on 23 December.