Until February 9th of this year, the word “kaftan” literally made me cringe, evoking images of dowdy, dumpy so-called “styles”. It seemed to me that plus size women especially should steer clear of them as they would make us appear larger. But no longer, I am happy to say!
Harlem Fashion Week
Harlem Fashion Week, produced by the ultimate mother/daughter dynamic duo, Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell, honored the late kaftan-loving Andre Leon Talley, who was an American fashion journalist, stylist, creative director, and editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, at The Andre Leon Talley Kaftan Exhibition during its “Celebration of Black Culture in Fashion”, held at the Kente Royal Gallery.
Designers were invited to create kaftans that were influenced by Talley but still remained true to their own brand’s unique vision and purpose. And what combinations that inspired! From sequins to studs to even bridal, “dowdy” is the last word anyone would use to describe these stunning styles.
As a lover of bling, my personal favorite was the sequined kaftan by Audacious and Feral (even the name is fierce!) by Ayana Reynolds that was made for the courageous woman who wants to make a statement!
And the other designers were all powerful and no less elegant, each in their own unique way; Izmira Tawfeek Designs by Izmira Tawfeek, Jerri Reid, Chiffani Brands by Tiffany Salas, TNashh by Timothy Nashh, and Trish B Stylin by Trish Brown.
Talley once said, “I’m so sick of mermaid dresses, trains, borrowed bling-bling, and a pose.” Everyone at this kaftan event truly lived Talley’s statement to the fullest. Thank you for converting a kaftan skeptic, Andre!
Want to be the first to know about the next Harlem Fashion Week event? Follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/harlemfw/!
But wait, there’s more! Check out Part 2 of New York Fashion Week 2022: The Curvy Edition at Part 2