Caftan Party Paradise

Simone d'Aillencourt in Emilio Pucci, Vogue 1967

Simone d’Aillencourt in Emilio Pucci, Vogue 1967

How am I just now, nearly a year later, reading about Christina Hendrick’s Palm Springs Caftans and Casseroles party idea? Unbelievable.  This is an idea that is tailor-made for me.  Psychedelic, flowing frocks? Check.  One dish meals, preferably topped with a heart stopping amount of melty cheese? Check. A room full of my favorite people, swimming in their caftans, gorging themselves on potluck comestibles from tables groaning under the collective weight of so many pyrex casserole dishes? YES PLEASE.  It’s like a demented orgy except with entirely different perversions. What? You know us casserole lovers can get freaky.

This magnificent garment has come a long way from 600 BC Persia where it was traditionally worn in the battlefield under chainmail.  It was later introduced to North Africa where “different groups interpreted them according to their religious and cultural traditions, and European imperialism led to cultural contact with the East, allowing for caftans to infiltrate the Western wardrobe.” Fast forward to the 1960s, when wealthy jet-setters and superstars took off for places like Morocco and India and brought back Eastern fashion traditions. Designers such as Halston and Yves Saint Laurent adopted the style into a symbol of bohemian elite that trickled down to mainstream fashion in the 1970s.

Now, as then, this drapey dress continues to appeal to the masses – whether you’re a warlord, a celebrity starlet, or a gal who just wants to let it all hang out and not be constrained by buttons and waistbands after a glorious feast.
…And they can be found everywhere! An etsy search alone brings up nearly 11K hits, some of them starting at as little as $10, so you certainly do not have to break the bank for your fantastical bohemian comfort wear. (Although obviously they run much more expensive, as evidenced by this gorgeous number by Oscar De La Renta over at Net-A-Porter for $2,990.)

I have compiled below some inspiration in the form of glamorous ladies in flowing frocks and the casseroles and covered dishes which to accompany them. In the meantime to ready yourself for this unparalleled vision of paradise involving comfort food and comfortable clothes, I suggest you read Caftan Lyfe and How to Get Your Caftan Body Ready For Summer.

1. Select a caftan of your chosen gauge and length. Stroke its gauzy fabric and whisper into its folds.

2. Let your flesh settle into the crevices of your comfortable, comfortable caftan.

3. Crumbs? Let them fall where they may, swaddled in your caftan.

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Elizabeth Taylor

Tilda Swinton in Purple Fashion Magazine, Vol.3, nr.5, Summer 2006

 

Anjelica Huston (Photo by Terry O’Neill/Getty Images)

 

Brigitte Bardot

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As you sprawl luxuriously, here are some ideas for a decadent spread:

Best ever green bean casserole // Mediterranean quinoa casserole // Spinach and cheese strata // Cheesy broccoli rice casserole // Overnight blueberry french toast casserole // Six cheese veggie lasagna // Tater tot enchilada casserole // Biscuits and gravy casserole // Macaroni and three cheeses

BONUS 

Wondering how to style your marvelous new caftan?  I have a few ideas for you…
Details on Look 1 can be found here, and Look 2 can be found here.

caftan1

caftan2

 

2 Comments on Caftan Party Paradise

  1. Tahlullah
    February 6, 2015 at 3:07 am (2 years ago)

    I love caftans. I remember when Elizabeth Taylor became the Queen of the caftan. We worshipped her! The caftans is better in a psychedelic pattern because it does not show anything that has fallen on it (cheesy casserole) or crumbs, alcohol spills, splif-pop burns, animal fur or wrinkles! And they do not require high heeled shoes, they look better barefoot. I love anything where comfort is the key.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      February 6, 2015 at 3:17 am (2 years ago)

      I could not agree with you more – barefoot is best! I kind of hate shoes, to be honest with you. I wish it wasn’t frowned upon to drive/shop/attend high tea sans shoes. Oh, what a world it would be! The ensembles I’ve put together here only have shoes for…a sense of balance, I suppose. I look at an outfit and feel it’s not complete without footwear. I blame society.

      Reply

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