For style and freedom
More than any other item of clothing in your wardrobe, the kaftan gives a lovely feeling of freedom when you wear it and it puts you in a holiday mood – even in the city. Whatever the model, size or fabric, the kaftan has a simple, loose, flowing silhouette and in the summer when the temperatures begin to soar, especially in hot countries, it allows you to move freely without constriction, giving a feeling of freshness and lightness.
Despite its simplicity, it is a versatile, elegant and distinctive garment, even in the most laid-back and boho-chic versions we saw in the late Nineties worn by the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. As we welcomed in the new millennium, the kaftan underwent bold and nostalgic revisitations in micro and mini lengths, a tribute to the fascinating hippy and nonconformist lifestyle of the Seventies. It owed its original success in the West to Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga who took it to the haute couture fashion shows, winning over iconic women such as Liz Taylor and Jackie Kennedy.
These two ladies were also influenced by the empress of fashion, Diana Vreeland, who adored the kaftan, calling it “elegant and luxurious”. Its origins can be traced as far back as ancient Persia, while it arrived on European – and later American – shores thanks to the proximity of Morocco, where it is still worn during celebrations and weddings.
It has lost none of its charm over the centuries, becoming a fully paid-up member of the most glamorous, high-society styles. The Caractère Spring Summer 2018 collection has a myriad of different models on offer. There is a linen tunic-like kaftan in pale natural colours, or one in silk voile and cotton with a plunging V neck that can be worn over skirts and trousers. Or thrown over your swimming costume. Then there is the sophisticated devoré ankle-length model with its high side splits and three-quarter length sleeves. It is the perfect all-rounder for those long summer days in the city or by the sea, whose essential elegance means you can go straight from the beach to the bar.