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February 23, 2024

Bollywood divas and their love affair with kaftans

Pratishtha Rana
If you were to wear just one item of clothing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Believe it or not, but for the gorgeous gals of Bollywood, it would most likely be a flowy, cool kaftan. And why not – it is super comfortable, has a free-flowing silhouette, can be styled in different ways and it comes in a plethora of colours and prints!
A royal affair!
If you reel back to this humble garment’s history, its origin is believed to be the ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Middle East). Kaftan is a simplified version of ‘Khaftan’, a Persian word for a long-length tunic or a robe with full sleeves and a cinched waist. During the Ottoman empire (14th to early 19th century) it was mostly men who wore kaftans, embellished to the tee. Brocade, silk, satin, velvet and cashmere were the choice of fabrics to make the regal dress.
Gradually, kaftans piqued interest of North Africans in Morocco, West Africans and of the French in the 20th century, when luxury Maisons, Christian Dior and Balenciaga, designed kaftan-inspired pieces for their collections.
Kaftan mavens in India
Closer home, designers Payal Khandwala, Namrata Joshipura, Rajdeep Ranawat, Sahil Kochhar, Payal Singhal and Malini Ramani and Pria Katariaa Puri have their own, edgy take on kaftans.
From a royal garb to a chic loungewear to now being a wardrobe staple, kaftan has had quite a journey. So, whether you’re holidaying by the beach, sipping cosmos and martinis at a brunch date or attending a bride’s bachelorette – let the easy kaftan inspire your look.
Here, we look at how Bollywood divas are working up kaftans in all its glory.
Priyanka Chopra
A diva on a vacation! That’s Priyanka Chopra for you, who loves making fashion statements. Here, she is wearing a soft blue, silk kaftan dress by Rick Owens, cinched by a white waist belt.
Priyanka Chopra in blue kaftan / Instagram
Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor loves her kaftans and makes sure to share it with the world on Instagram. Here, she is wearing a House of Masaba number, a crepe mustard yellow kaftan with the designer’s signature tribal streak digital print.


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A post shared by House of Masaba (@houseofmasaba)

Aditi Rao Hydari
From tropical getaways to at-home parties, this sea green crepe kaftan sported by Aditi Rao Hydari is a fitting summer outfit. And if you like accessorising, throw on a neckpiece, a bracelet or a cute turrband on the head.

Sonam Kapoor
Trust Sabyasachi Mukherjee to make kaftans perfect for weddings too! Sonam Kapoor wore a finely sequinned and embellished kaftan kurta with a dropping neckline by the designer. She maintained the boho-chic mood of the garment perfectly by pairing it with traditional Indian jewellery pieces.
Sonam Kapoor in Sabyasachi kaftan
Sonam Kapoor in Sabyasachi / Instagram
Dia Mirza
Dia Mirza, who recently announced her pregnancy on Instagram while on a vacation in the Maldives, showed off her love for kaftans as well. She wore a sheer, handmade Kora Mul kaftan with aari embroidery and knot details on it, by Divya Anand label.
Dia Mirza in Divya by Divya Anand / Instagram
Neha Dhupia
Neha Dhupia loves experimenting with different styles of kaftans! While the first one is a beautifully embellished silk slit kaftan in nude gold palette. The other one is a colour-blocked, crepe satin kaftan with a hand-embroidered brooch on the waist.
Neha Dhupia in Nikita Mhaisalkar / Instagram
Neha Dhupia in Qbik / Instagram
Shilpa Shetty
From a blue tie-dye print kaftan to a classic Masaba print kaftan, Shilpa Shetty has her resort wear figured out. And we love how she has kept the styling minimal – just a touch of sunnies when basking in the sun.
Tie dye kaftan / Instagram
wearing House of Masaba / Instagram
Diana Penty
A model and an actress, Diana Penty sure knows how to work up a kaftan in the most striking manner. She picked up a kaftan from label Drishti and Zahabia which features mirrorwork, thread embroidery and a classic ikat print. She paired it with straight pants, a choker necklace and statement kadas.
Diana Penty in Drishti & Zahabia / Instagram
When you’re feeling bold and want to make statement with your outfit, consider Kajol’s one-shoulder, multi-coloured Fagun kaftan with garland skeinwork, by Shivan & Narresh.
Kajol in Shivan & Narresh / Instagram
Read more:
What’s hot! Easy breezy prêt outfits for summer 2021
Not saris, this new couture brand makes contemporary outfits from Kanchipuram silk

Pratishtha Rana

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