Story and images by Stefhan Gordon, Special Correspondent
The Batani-Khalfani Clothing Collection is born from the desire to create beauty out of distinctive style and timeless glamour. Batani-Khalfani, the self-taught designer, takes her background in art and dance and instinctively creates pieces that explode with a rhythmic nature. Batani-Khalfani designs are infused with abstract art and the appeal of boldness that blends into silhouettes that are feminine, fanciful and evocative. Each piece is handcrafted with unique details that brings a distinction and mystery to the subtle edginess of the line. From signature body hugging mermaid tailed evening gowns to deconstructed pieces tinged with audacious prints, Batani-Khalfani Clothing knows that its not what you wear, its how you feel when you're wearing it. Batani-Khalfani Clothing makes sure that you feel and you know you are "Destined to Rule," because when you step into a room, you don't want to look like everyone else, but when you step into a room wearing Batani-Khalfani, everyone else wants to look like you!
LAFW: What is your name and what is the significance of your name?
BK: My name and my line are Batani-Khalfani. Batani-Khalfani means "born away from the ancestral land, destined to rule." My name and my line are really all aspects of my personality. I am bold and adventurous. I love challenges. I know who I am and what I am here to do.
LAFW: What influences shaped your design aesthetic?
BK: The influences that shape my design aesthetic are the meaning of my name, nature and things from my imagination. Batani-Khalfani means born away from the ancestral land, destined to rule so there are a lot of African influences, nature, animals also eastern cultural influences. Animal prints in many of my collections are big as well as earth tones. Very unique whimsical patterns that catch the eye are part of my signature style. I design for the woman who is bold, sexy and distinctive, so you'll see daring silhouettes that are form fitting yet elegant at the same time. My designs are art, as I am an artist.
LAFW: Who is your favorite couture designer?
BK: I don't have a favorite. Designing couture takes a passion and an innate sense of art and style, so any designer that designs couture are all my favorites, we have a special gift. Each designer brings something different that can inspire in different ways. Roberto Cavalli, I love his use of animal prints and flowy chiffons. Balmain's, the studded rock effect is always intriguing, Rodarte is just very unique in all of its collections. Christian Dior's big personality and imagination is amazing. Tracy Reese's, flirty, fun lines and colors are amazing, I just really love all of her pieces. Each designer brings something different just as I do.
LAFW: With the collections that we shot, what were your inspirations and what were you trying to achieve?
BK: I always want the person wearing Batani-Khalfani to feel confident, admired and distinctive. I fell in love with the look of femininity and spring luxuriousness. The collection has chiffons in fuschia and amparo blue with flowery details and studded accents along with knits in an asian inspired twist. A lot of my pieces are very form fitting so I wanted this collection to be a little more free, a little more fun so the woman wearing it can just dance around and being admired while doing it.
LAFW: Finally, where in LA can one purchase your items?
BK: At the moment, my items can be purchased by appointment by calling 310.484.9393 or emailing email@example.com, the physical showroom will be opened April. My website, www.iambatani.com which will March 15 will have information with the boutiques that will carry my line.
About the Photographer: Due to his father being an avid photographer with a dark room in the basement, Stefhan Gordon of SHGfoto.com has quite literally been shooting a SLR camera since the age of four. His photography ranges in style and content from fashion and beauty model portfolio development for agency models in Los Angeles to runway, event, and concert photography for LAfashionWEEK.com, Examiner.com, and numerous up and coming bands. Stefhan also reports on the fashion and music industries for these two dot coms. In Stefhan's "other" life, he's an award winning Ivy League educated architect and interior designer.
LAFW Note: This is the fifth of a series featuring Los Angeles area designers. If you are a LA Designer and would like your work featured, please email Stefhan Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shoot Credits: Make Up Artist Angela Peralta, Hairstylist James Sartain & Wardrobe Stylist Michelle Matteo