Keep cool in kaftans and kimonos

Autumn is in full swing and this month we talk all things fashion with Woodstock designer Mishah Effendi of Mishah Designerwear.

Born into a family of dressmakers and tailors, Mishah says her love of fashion developed as a child.

Launched in 2003, her brand is quintessentially South African with a “European allure that is sexy, glamorous and chic”.

Mishah views fashion as art and says it has the ability to describe your mood.

It also allows you to express your creativity through designs within a particular collection.

She says her work in the fashion industry affords her the opportunity to meet different people every day. “I have had the privilege to travel around the world and meet different people from all walks of life. Each day is different which in turn makes my daily duties and goals enticing.”

Mishah says her lifelong dream has always been to have her brand made available to women from all walks of life, irrespective of age and size.

Her sage advice to women is: “Go for items in your closet that accentuate your physique. It’s important as this allows you to be on trend and comfortable.”

Even though autumn has arrived there is still an element of humidity present in the air.

Mishah suggests wearing kaftans in midi and maxi lengths; flowing kimonos; tunics in breathable fabrics and high-waist palazzo pants.

She says those styles work best with materials such as cotton, linen, blends of rayon, viscose and Tencel in order for one to remain cool and stylish.

On what’s trendy for autumn, Mishah says khaki and army prints; military greens and earthly charcoal tones are all must-haves.

And trench gowns in heavy weight textures such as suede, woven tweeds and woollen fabrics are what fashionistas will be slaying this season.

Mishah lists her top five must-have items for women of varying shapes and sizes.

She said everyone should have a crisp white shirt, black fitted trousers, high-waist jeans, a pair of black boots and, of course, that Little Black Dress (LBD), which can easily be paired with a blazer for more formal gatherings or a denim jacket for more casual outings.

Keep your eyes peeled for next month’s column, where I delve into winter fashion trends. Send your fashion advice and news to