This Is the One Wardrobe Item You'll Want in a Heat Wave
These chic kaftans are reviving an ancient Oaxacan weaving technique (and keeping you cool on the can’t-bear-to-wear-clothes days of summer).
Long-time stylist and fashion editor Pippa Holt is somewhat of a travel gypsy. Hailing from Australia, she’s lived all around the globe, from London — where she held posts at both The Sunday Times Magazine and British Vogue — to Houston, Texas and on to her current home in Dublin, Ireland.
While spending her first humid summer in Houston, she grew frustrated by the lack of comfortable (and appropriate) clothing made for hot urban weather; a beach cover-up wouldn't exactly suffice for running errands at the Galleria with her kids. So, after exploring indigenous textiles on a trip to a remote Mexican village, she set out to fill the gap herself.
Unique, lightweight, and colorful, the kaftans she brought home became objects of admiration among women in Houston experiencing the same sartorial quandary of looking chic in 110-degree weather. Her kaftans, “holiday heroes,” as she calls them, were the answer.
Realizing the opportunity, Holt collaborated with head weaver Felipa (who has more than 50 years of experience), Felipa’s daughter Angelica, and a group of artisans to launch Pippa Holt Kaftans: one-of-a-kind, hand-woven kaftans with natural dyes using resources native to Mexico.
This back-strap loom weaving technique (which you can watch in the video above) has been used in the Oaxacan artisans’ community for generations, and each kaftan takes about three weeks to a month to make. As no two are the same, Holt differentiates the pieces by giving each a number. Our favorite is No. 72.
Holt’s kaftans work as a cover-up on the beach, at night, belted with heels, or in the pick-up line at your kid’s summer camp. No matter where your summer plans may lead you, it’s the perfect piece to toss on and go.
To buy: matchesfashion.com, $918