Aywa – A modern take on the kaftan


We should wear more kaftans. We know they’re a festival staple, but there’s really no reason why they can’t be more everyday. They offer a great silhouette, they’re good for day or night, and they’re comfy, flattering and objects of simplicity and beautifulness in themselves. And totally in keeping with the emerging and welcome trend for modest fashion. Oscar de la Renta and Monique Lhuillier are both already on the bandwagon – both unveiled kaftan collections in time for Ramadan earlier this year.

Closer to home  – and achievable aspiration level – we came across Aywa’s designs at the Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square. Designed by artist Waqaas Ahmed, these thoroughly modern designs feature minimalist stripe, polka dot, neon floral, and graphic tribal prints in luxurious cotton, wool, linen and silk. With little embellishment, the focus is on print and texture. Check out the uber-elegant ‘Husnaa’ – a slightly androgynous abaya/ jacket in raw silk, with beautiful geometric cashmere hem (pictured below).


A word on terminology – Aywa call their designs abayas. An abaya is a long cloak – often, but not always, but often, black – that Muslim women typically wear as outerwear. They are to all intents and purposes long, open fronted jackets, which can be held closed with a tie belt. Kaftans are long loose dresses which come in everything, and are worn by everyone – Rachel Zoe is a fan apparently. Aywa’s designs – are strictly speaking, both – and they are lovely.

Check out their website here and the Instagram here – both definitely worth a browse.


Photos: Aywa

Posted: 11 September 2015

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