The Kaftan is often associated with the long black attire worn by many Muslim women. In the US, it is the clothing choice of ‘hippies’. The adapted shorter version is often adorned over bikinis at the beach.
Since its inception in 2009, international label Toujouri have included kaftans as part of their product range, which have played an integral part in their success. The brand has gained a strong customer base in the Middle East, an ideal market for demi-couture kaftans.
Toujouri combines aesthetics from the Middle East and the West. Creative director and founder, Lama El-Moatassem’s latest inspiration comes from wonders of nature and the work of fine art photographer Bea Kayani for her Spring/Summer 2013 collection, titled Reflections.
El-Moatassem integrates art and luxurious textiles to create elegant flowing kaftans that move away from the stereotype of dull black shapeless garments and result in beautiful and versatile pieces that could be worn by anyone at any time.
The kaftans are made up of deep, rich colours including blue, black and purple. Apart from the fabrics and embroidery, each garment is draped and structured in different ways; sleeves made with tweed; use of drawstrings to create a different structure, the use of a variety of necklines, hooded pieces draped at the back or accessorising with belts.
The name Toujouri, meaning treasure chest in Arabic, imprints the idea of discovering the story behind hand-made embroideries.
The collection includes ball gowns, cocktail dresses, suits and jackets along with the kaftans. El-Moatassem explores Kayani’s work by beading floral designs and manipulating it to look like digital art.
The Kaftans are making their way into the social circles of celebrities and was recently worn by British musician Florence Welsh.
Having gained popularity with the fashion purchasing public in the Middle East, Toujouri have recently entered the UK market with Harrods becoming the stockist of the brand.