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Matthew Williamson on the Kaftan: Must-Have Piece for the Summer?

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Matthew Williamson on the Kaftan: Must-Have Piece for the Summer?

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Matthew Williamson has teamed up with Belvedere Vodka to produce a limited-edition kaftan— the kind of piece you could live in all summer — inspired by the vodka brand’s new flavor, Pink Grapefruit. With muse Leigh Lezark of the DJ trio The Misshapes, Williamson debuted the light, breezy garment at the Belvedere launch last night. Marie Claire caught up with duo at Williamson’s NYC boutique, where the two dished on what kind of inspiration vodka can provide — as well as tips on how to rock the kaftan this summer.

This season seems to be all about flowy fashion and Middle Eastern-inspired looks. How much did the actual taste of the vodka inspire you?
MW: Launching with the summer season in mind evokes vacation; the vodka itself is very sublet- cool. It was kind of an easy brief... the taste made it more obvious what the garment should be. A very jet-set, on-holiday look.

Any tips for how to work the kaftan into your everyday style?
MW: The good thing about a kaftan is that it’s voluminous and shapeless to a degree, so it hides all the things you want to hide. If you’ve got nothing to hide, you can cinch it into a belt, as Leigh did last night. It’s really all about being easy and open, a kind of bohemian spirit on holiday.

LL: The kaftan has a history all its own — people have been wearing them forever — the way that Matthew designed it you can dress it up or dress it down.

The beauty of the this piece is its versatility...
MW: That’s the point. Last night it was on Leigh. This is not a garment you would immediately associate with Leigh or her style. You can wear it out, you can wear it as a cover-up at the pool...

LL: Put a black slip under it with a pair of heels.

MW: Always pair with good shoes... get your shoes right and the rest just works.

Any final tips?
LL: Don’t drink and drive — don’t drink grapefruit vodka and drive!

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