Pastel colors, light and natural fabrics, paired with symbols of different folk cultures: the garments of Kamala Kaftan each have their own story in which femininity, spirituality and sustainability get center stage. We talked to Zsuzsi Erdős, the founder of the brand, about her latest collection entitled FALL IN and her future plans.
After a few years of dancing, yoga and traveling, Zsuzsi Erdős felt the need to create something tangible besides engaging in performing art: she wanted to convey her thoughts through making clothes. During her travels, she was primarily attracted to oriental, exotic places, where colors and clothes are deeply intertwined with daily rituals. She currently lives and works in India, where she and her tailoring team created these light and sensual garments, which are functional and convertible at the same time, making them “similar to our inner self.”
In her latest Fall-Winter and Spring collection, FALL IN, in addition to sensuality, the pursuit of sustainability is consciously reflected as well: the garments are made of traditional, natural or recycled materials with hand-made prints featured on them.
Another special trait of FALL IN clothes is that they were made immediately after the quarantine period caused by the pandemic, so they also carry a sentiment reflecting this situation. “Our first Fall-Winter-Spring collection focuses on the situation where people had to cope with the new circumstances wherever the pandemic found them, like me staying in India; I often feel grateful for that. Mainly because I realized that it’s not just a place, a country or continuous travel that can make me happy but, most of all, it’s when we accept and even fall in love with the circumstances life plunges us into. Stemming from this love of living in the present is a positive and illuminating future. The clothes essentially follow a clear design with minimalist pastel colors, sometimes with folk symbols of different cultures, made of natural materials: like time travel in the present,” says Zsuzsi.
The collection includes a selection of unique items such as a poncho and a wrap-around dress embellished with hand block printing from a Rajasthani family workshop, or a shirt and a shirt dress made of Jaipuri block print linen, but we can also choose from kimonos created from recycled saris.
“Consciously crafted, practical and eye-catching details such as pockets, different collars and clamshell buttons make the clothes’ design even more unique. You can even rely on them in cold weather, and they provide comfort whether you’re outdoors, at home, or on a journey anywhere else,” Zsuzsi added.
The brand conveys its values not only through the clothes but also in its campaign photos. “I love it when the artists I work with pour their total freedom into the project and are inspired only by the dress itself, its wearer and nature. This way, most of the time, it’s the love and depth of life that shines through our photos. That’s why we try not to hire models for our campaigns but work with great, everyday women who are natural,” Zsuzsi highlighted.
Regarding future plans, Kamala Kaftan has new things in store. There’s a lot in the making, from wedding dresses through unisex children’s clothes to a new swimwear collection. Besides all this, Zsuzsi would like to open a showroom based in Hungary, which would function not only as a shop, but also as a community space. According to the designer, “each of these products has a story, and when a customer steps in, the story does not end, it continues.”
Wearing Kamala Kaftan pieces on the photos are: Réka Fazakas, Krisztina Fejér, Gergely Fejér, Eszter Márton, Zoltán Telek.
Photos: Bernadett Fejér