The lightweight, easy-wear, and innately elegant kaftan is the go-to cover-up during the summer months. Halston and Emilio Pucci may have catapulted the silhouette into the spotlight during the 1960s thanks to their vibrant psychedelic print styles but the throw-on-and-go garment was utilized long before that as a hot-weather staple.
Today, the runway continues to embrace the kaftan, offering up reinterpretations of the billowing classic in embellished, fringed, belted and cropped versions. For SS20, Elie Saab showcased some of the best of the season, with traditional shapes in pleated fabrications in powder pink, forest green and deep amber, all styled with a 70s spin.
Middle Eastern designers have always had a knack for creating seriously covetable kaftan shapes, continuing to experiment, year after year, and fine-tuning their craft whilst integrating influences from the West. In the mood for playful elegance in an ultra-feminine color palette? Head to Dubai-based label Bambah. Prefer sumptuous silks with embellishment detailing? Shatha Essa is for you. Or would you like to honor Arab traditions in quality fabrics? Look to Omani designer Amal Al Raisi.
We’ve rounded up some of the best styles – including a mix of both regional and international brands – to shop and wear now… you won’t need much else.