The History of Kaftan

The History of Kaftan

Kaftan is one of the best fashion trademarks in women’s fashion. It is comfortable, sophisticated, and versatile. Kaftans are available in different fabrics, designs, and ultramodern cuttings. It is loose-fitting, airy, comfortable, and easy to wear and carry. Moreover, according to the richness of the fabric and design, you can wear jewelry with it or carry it. This has become a style statement for women for casual outings.

Kaftan: Origin

The origin of modern-day kaftans is very typical to find. There were so many tunic-like dresses popular from ancient times, from Japanese kimonos to African Boubou, everywhere in the world. According to some theories, modern kaftan-cut dresses were available first in Mesopotamia. But more rapidly, Ottoman Sultans started using it until the 20th century. The Ottoman Sultans had an affection for Kaftans. Their Kaftans were made of very costly fabrics and settings. They also used to gift Kaftans to their court members and guests as a gesture. Kaftans, when arrived in North Africa, became a regular dress item for ordinary people. The long but airy cutting, loose-fitting, and bigger sleeves helped North African and Middle East people to get protected from hot and sandy weather.

Kaftan: Fashion History

  • European Market

It was first started in the early 20th century. Designers like Mario Fortuny and Paul Poiret started to design kaftan-like dresses and robes for women in the European market. North African and Middle Eastern cultures undoubtedly inspired them. Kaftan entered the European market this way and became popular within decades. However, these kaftans were far away from form-fitted, corseted garments that dominated the Western fashion industry spontaneously. These kaftans could not do well; however, these kaftans opened the gateway of more liberated style with baggy, curve-less dresses to the fashion industry.

  • US Market

In the United States, women’s fashion was still dominated by clinched waist style of the 1940s and 1950s. It was not introduced to the US market until Diana Vreeland, then editor of Vogue magazine, visited Morocco and was stunned by the uniqueness of the dress. Like designers, she started wearing Kaftans, and Yves St Lauren, Emilio Pucci, and Oscar de-la-Renta began designing their own Kaftans in Vogue. The garment was hit both in rich societies and among carefree hippies. It was among celebrities too. The great Elizabeth Taylor was a fan of kaftans.

However, it started disappearing from the market from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties. Style and fashion statements changed body-conscious dresses.

  • The style is reborn

In the recent past, around 2014, famous designers like Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, and Stella McCartney started to design kaftans in their collections. To date, Kaftan is a big favorite indoor and outdoor dress in warm months.

Kaftan has covered a long, innovative way, from Sultan’s throne room to the modern-day wardrobe. It is still a fashion statement with different fabrics and designs. The cool fact is kaftans can be used in any kind of body shape. It is still unputdownable for casual outings, especially on warm days.

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