Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crazy for Kaftans

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crazy for Kaftans

Article excerpt

Byline: By Vicky Pepeys

You could spend a whole fashion season researching a trend and still not know where it originated.

By that time the trend may be over, or re-interpreted for winter or become a classic that's constantly re-invented every year.

It looks like the kaftan is set to be a classic.

It emerged last summer as a great 1970s revival, but it's again caught the imagination of just about every high street design team.

These people are not fools; the kaftan obviously sells like hot cakes, particularly for holiday wear.

It's one of fashion's most adaptable garments. In light transparent fabrics it's great on the beach as a cover up, or for evening when the Moroccan-inspired embellishments double up for jewellery.

The plainer day kaftans require teaming with jeans or wide leg loose linen pants and a multitude of beads to make them "this" summer, and there's plenty of natural seed pods and shells from all the firms' own shops featured on this page, as well as specialists such as Craze (MetroCentre and Eldon Garden), Accessorize (everywhere) and Fenwick (Northumberland Street).

In the hands of the Karen Millen team, the kaftan becomes a sophisticated sexy day dress ( but then anything would.

A dip into history and a bit of common sense tells us the story of the kaftan. It's a Middle Eastern-through-to-Far-Eastern story, and everywhere in-between, through trade routes and climate.

A hot country requires a national dress of loose proportions in light fabrics to keep cool. Middle Eastern craftspeople were able to work with Far Eastern silks through trade, and presumably the "trend", if that's what it was known as all those hundreds of years ago, would spread as the merchants travelled across the globe.

The dictionary definition is that a Kaftan is a woman's dress style derived from the Caftan cloaks worn by men in the near East. There are so many derivations these days that kaftan is now a wide term to cover anything from a basic sheet folded over with a hole cut out for the head, to a delicate fitted tunic. …

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