Kaftan Discotheque

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Angelenos know that fall in California is nothing but a pumpkin-spiced prank on its people. Since it’s legitimately 100 degrees too hot for cashmere, I put on a kaftan and headed over to the rooftop pool at the Ace Hotel for Kaftan Discothèque. Founded and hosted by husband and wife DJ duo, Alex Oxley and Lisa Jelliffe, the pair tell LADYGUNN why you need to be there too.
How did Kaftan Discothèque come to be?
A party is instantly more fun and glamorous if everyone throws on a kaftan! Our residency at the Ace Hotel sparked a dream of a sea of colorful fabric, dancing on the rooftop at sunset. Our parties are about creating a unique atmosphere that can also inspire the music.
How was it throwing Kaftan Discothèque at Burning Man?
We spotted so many kaftans at Burning Man – especially men wearing them which is fabulous. We played at a new camp called Zero Fucks, and the highlight was a Turkish couple who stopped by to say hi as they were excited to hear some 70’s Turkish disco we were playing.
Why throw a party revolving around the kaftan?
Kaftans allow for self-expression and a little more inhibition. If everyone wears them, then the crowd can connect a little more. The dance scene can be a bit ‘cool’ and serious and that just makes for a boring party. Festivals in Europe are much more about dressing up and letting go. Kaftans are elegant, flamboyant, and each one has a different story. You can create your own mythology with your choice of kaftan – maybe you’re a Persian Princess, a 70’s cult member?
What would you say to those who fear wearing a kaftan promotes cultural appropriation?
A kaftan is not a religious piece of clothing; it’s a long flowing robe or tunic worn for thousands of years by almost every nationality. Africa, Middle East, Russia, Asia, Europe – chances are your ancestors black, brown or white wore something like a kaftan at some point in time. Kaftans were greatly revived in the 60’s and 70’s by the fashion and hippy community. Long and flowing, the wearer takes on an air of elegance and reverence. This is not comedy, fancy dress, this is about looking your best and taking inspiration from exciting colors, fabrics and dance music from all over the world.
What do you want your partygoers to get out of their experience at KD?
Like most DJs, we want people to enjoy the music and connect to each other. It’s about creating a nice environment for people to feel joyful and express themselves.
Who would you like showing up at this party?
Nice people who like dancing and dressing up, with open minds and a healthy appetite for music and fashion from all around the globe.
What sets KD apart from any other rooftop party in LA?
There’s a friendly unisex vibe to the event – everyone is equal in a kaftan. The Ace Hotel is a beautiful location with art deco architecture and which feels like a natural environment to be dressed up with your sleeves to the breeze.
In the months approaching, Alex and Lisa plan to launch a late night edition of Kaftan Discothèque for those of us who suck at day drinking. Presently, the party is held every third Saturday of the month, from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Can’t find a Kaftan? Fear not, arrays of curated choices are available for purchase at the event. RSVP is required to attend: kaftandiscotheque@gmail.com.
For additional information, please visit www.facebook.com/kaftandiscotheque.
Next party is October 17! Check out the the party calendar, http://www.acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/kaftan-disco-101715.
story / Dominique Joelle

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