Friday, May 8, 2020

Caftans and Chinoiserie

WSJ

Caftans, also spelled kaftans, were originally worn by men. Cut from airy material to sit off the body, it is one of the most comfortable things you can don in tropical climates. Long associated with Palm Beach and Florida, the caftan is as comfortable as sweat pants, but with elegance and sophistication.

Caftans are thought to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia and were worn in India, Africa, and Iran by sultans and high ranking officials (men) from the 14th to 18th century. Caftans became the rage in the sixties worn by women like Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Vogue editor Diana Vreeland.

Jackie Kennedy

Elizabeth Taylor

Grace Kelly

Since moving to Florida and especially now with quarantining, I have embraced this style full throttle. I have always worn dresses - I don't own a pair of jeans. You can get out of the pool and throw on a caftan, thrown on some statement jewelry and a pair of Jack Rogers, and go to the most stylish dinner party or restaurant - someday again.

And, how does this relate to Chinoiserie? Many of our favorite interior designers have espoused this attire in their tropical abodes.

Meg Braff - matching her Kips Bay room

Meg Braff

Amanda Lindroth

Amanda Lindroth

Tory Burch - a fashion designer, but she uses Chinoiserie throughout her gorgeous homes

Alessandra Branca

Alessandra Branca

Such a great look - comfortable, effortless, sophisticated, timeless, and looks great in the Chinoiserie home.

8 comments:

  1. Can you recommend shopping sources for caftans? I live in northern California, and everyone here loves their jeans and athleisure, two styles I am not very fond of.

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    1. I tend to like bohemian like Anthropologie and preppy like J. Crew and Lilly Pulitzer.

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  2. Tori B's is by far the best IMO.

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  3. I love the idea of it, and it looks super comfy but I think it adds visual weight to my body. When I'm 90 I'll embrace it for sure but for now I think it's best in a floaty fabric as a bathing suit cover up. Patricia Altschul seems to live in them and they look great on her, it just doesn't seem to be a northern California thing.

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    1. I know what you are saying, I tend to choose very thin fabrics that drape better.

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  4. This article is so timely
    https://www.thelily.com/the-rise-of-the-caftan-in-self-quarantine/

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    1. What a great article! Thanks for sharing. I just ordered another!

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