There are a few things every woman needs before jetting off on a beach getaway: the perfect bathing suit(s), the right reading material, a pair of selfie-worthy shades and a stylish cover-up. This throw-over-anything piece is key to life at the beach—you’ll wear it from your suite to the sand and everywhere in between. However it’s also one of the hardest resort wear looks to get right.
Lucky for Kansas Citians fleeing the freeze for sun and sand this spring, Alicia Janesko (sister of local jewelry-designer Jennifer) is designing colorful caftans and embellished cover-ups that will keep travelers cool, comfortable and oh-so chic.
Photo by Landon Vonderschmidt
Kansas City Spaces: How did you find yourself designing for the beach in land-locked Kansas City?
Alicia Janesko: My interest in caftans started when I began building a resort wear collection. I wanted to dress fabulous and be “island appropriate” at the same time. The options I found either did not meet my budget or were created in styles and fabrics that did not meet my taste. So I decided to just make them myself.
KCS: What makes the caftan such an appealing design?
Janesko: From day one I have always loved glamour and drama, and caftans are very dramatic. When someone enters a room wearing a garment that makes a statement, it enlivens the entire event. A caftan can be elegant, fun or glamorous—it transforms your attitude. Caftans are the ultimate statement of femininity, and every woman deserves to feel her power.
KCS: You have a collection of ready-to-wear pieces available, but you will also create custom designs. How does that process unfold?
Janesko: The majority of the caftans I make are custom pieces. Typically someone will contact me when they are planning a special trip or event, and we will start the conversation based on their destination, needs and personal taste. It can be overwhelming, but part of my job is to guide a client through the process and give them the most flattering result.
KCS: You encourage people to experiment with transitioning your caftans and cover-ups to evening wear. What accessories would you recommend to pull off this pool-to-party look?
Janesko: The staple for taking a caftan from day to night is a nude or black slip, depending on the colors in the caftan. I like to accessorize with statement earrings, wedges and a Janesko cuff, of course!