People quite often ask me, ‘Why kaftans?’. What made me start a boutique specialising in this particular style of dress? And I guess the answer is that it was just an extension of my childhood really. Some of my oldest and fondest memories are of growing up surrounded by strong, bold country women on my Nan’s side. They were very close, outgoing and all shared a similar wicked sense of humour. When they got together there was always a lot of laughter and boy could I tell you some funny stories about their card games. But apparently what happens at the card table stays at the card table, which is probably for the best. These women were all wonderful and they were all REAL. There was a mix of ages, personalities and body types, but something they seemed to have in common was their choice of dress when there was a family occasion…and it was kaftans.
I remember walking in to our family parties and there would be a sea of swirling colours. Bright and full of energy…just like my maternal great aunts and aunts. They were all proud and immaculately groomed with perfectly coiffed hair and make-up applied according to the latest trend. And it’s here that I’m going to sneak in that I hold them responsible for my thin eye brows that never grew back 😉 But they did unknowingly teach me how to take pride in my appearance and introduce me to soft, flowing dresses that exude femininity. I remember looking at them thinking they looked like princesses at a ball. So pretty and full of life. But at the heart of it, they were simple country girls who dressed as much for comfort as they did for fashion. That’s where my love affair with kaftans began and evolved over the years.
Back then kaftans were mostly made in cotton, in a plain colour with embroidered flower motives. Well, the ones in our family were anyway. Now kaftans are available in most soft fabrics from plain colours to dramatic prints. Their cuts also vary which adds to their appeal. Maxi. Mini. Kaftan style tops. And different necklines. And they seem to be more versatile than all those years ago with women now teaming them with leggings, pants, wearing them off the shoulder, tying them across the décolletage or tying them from underneath to reveal some leg. I like to tuck mine into my underwear much to the horror of my mother. From formal to fun there seems to be a kaftan for every occasion and body shape, with all of them looking fabulous!
When Mum and I made the decision to start the business and share our love of this timeless dress with other women it became clear very quickly that we are drawn to bright and bold colours. Each collection has a mix of vibrant hues with a few more subtle prints thrown in for those occasions when understated is more elegant.
We want to help women not only look beautiful but also feel beautiful, which is why we chose silk for our label. It’s such a seductive fabric that feels luxurious against your skin. And ladies, let me tell you, your partner will love it too.
Our passion was brought to life thanks to Jeannie and her loving husband Alf, my Grandparents. Their love story is on our website. But the original inspiration was a gift from the amazing women who introduced me to kaftans and who are the reason I associate them with happy times, pants-wetting laughter and love.
Jeannie & Alf enjoying a drink and nibbles at a party.
Jeannie looking very tropical