Our Story

Embellished Kaftans is a brand conceived and created by Karen Chandwani.

Born and bred in the colorful Bollywood city of Mumbai, India, her upbringing was infused with inspiration from a very early age. Her father was a well-known designer and manufacturer who taught her to sketch styles, source fabrics, cut patterns and sew garments.

By the time she was 16 years old she had already joined the family business. After completing her formal education in Psychology her arranged marriage to a businessman took her from Mumbai to the world renowned island of Palma De Mallorca in Spain – known for its style and up market boutiques.

Karen was inspired by the European designs and styles but always missed the colorful clothing she wore back home. Deciding to bring the flavour of her country into Spain, she opened a beach wear clothing store, “Gut and Gun-stick” in Cala Millor, a small village of Palma De Mallorca. In addition to her stock of swimwear, she began to include Indian made Embellished Kaftans at her store which were a big hit with the locals as well as the tourists who visited Palma from around the world.

After successfully running her business in Spain, a family decision to move to Australia landed her on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Karen tried to adapt to the simple yet sophisticated style of Australia which was so different from Spain or India. However she couldn’t suppress her desire to express herself with colour so decided to design a few kaftans which she had grown up wearing back home in India for her, to gauge the reaction of the locals. She wore a kaftan to almost every soccer match of her son and received an overwhelming response. Perfect strangers walked up to her at restaurants asking her where had she purchased that dress and friends started getting curious.

“Many asked questions. But where can I wear them? They are too colourful don’t you think? Do you think I can wear them to the supermarket? Are they casual or formal wearing? Why should I wear a kaftan if I can wear a top?” .

These questions gave Karen enough feedback to create a unique Australian brand “Embellished Kaftans,” which is made for Australian women to suit their lifestyle. She has used her years of industry experience to source the most skin friendly and luxurious silk blended fabrics to suit  Australian climate. Each digital print is inspired by exotic destinations from around Australia. The rainforest and Barrier Reef of Queensland or the truly divine 12 Apostles of Victoria. Every print reminds you of the Australian nature. All Embellished Kaftans are intricately embellished with high quality crystals to express the spirit of lavish opulence for those special occasions on a cruise or a party. The styles and sizes make them very versatile so they can easily be teamed up with a pair of jeans or tights for those casual occasions like coffee with the girls or school pick ups.

“A kaftan is a single most unique piece of garment that will add a different level of style and sophistication to your wardrobe. Some say they are almost addictive ” .

Karen xo.