Project Runway Season 6 contestant Gordana was the headliner at Friday night's Project Ethos LA Fashion Week event at the beautiful old Music Box theatre on Hollywood and Vine. Her collection was rich in vintage styling, layered looks at even classic knitwear. In case you don't remember Gordana from last season's show, she worked on the Macy's challenge with Irina as part of the winning team, and won the challenge to revitalize a old wedding dress. For me, her best moment on Project Runway was when she showed this absolutely gorgeous evening dress. A dress in this style and design was part of the collection she showed at the Project Ethos show. It's a show stopper and belongs on the red carpet.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Gordana after her LA Fashion Week show, and I learned a little more about her design perspective. Although she did not win Project Runway, Gordana was definitely the star of the show at the Music Box on Friday night. Indeed, Project Ethos held her show back until after 11 pm so that everyone could see her work. Even late arrivals were still in time for Gordana. I asked Gordana how it felt to be the star. She said, "It feels good to have something that people want to see." And they did really want to see it.
Crowd reaction to Gordana's collection was more befitting of a rock star than a fashion designer. The crowd was on their feet, rocking to pulse pounding music and screaming as her models walked the runway. It was quite a change from the reserve and business-like atmosphere of New York Fashion week.
When she did Project Runway, Gordana was living in Charleston, SC and running her boutique GOGA. Now, she has relocated to San Diego, CA and is a Southern California treasure. She still has her GOGA boutique in South Carolina, but has opened a second GOGA in San Diego's Gaslamp district. You can see GOGA by Gordana online by visting her online store, ShopGoga. A native of Yugoslavia, Gordana grew up in Bosnia. Her Eastern European work ethic is visible in every line of her work. She tells me, "I make everything in the collection. All the samples are personally made by me. All the jewelry is made by me."
Clearly, Gordana puts a lot of herself into each collection. That attention to detail showed in her runway collection at the Project Ethos show. The collection was inspired by her recent trip to China. She was particularly taken with what she saw in Mongolia, especially the layered styles. She tells me, "You'll find lots of layers, textures, and tribal influence in my designs. " Of her new collection, she says, "I like creating clothing that is high fashion, elegant, and wearable. You can always accessorize with a beautiful necklace to dress up a cute tunic or dress down with a simple knit scarf." The beautiful long black, knit dress she showed (pictured below) is a perfect example of a simple style that can be dressed up with earrings or a cuff bracelet.
The price range for GOGA by Gordana ranges from $150.00 for her simple dresses to $4,000 for her haute couture looks. Her beautiful knits are currently featured in the spring/summer issue of VOGUE Knitting magazine. If you're in Southern California, check out her boutique, GOGA by Gordana, located in the historic Gaslamp District on 4th and Market Street in San Diego. Yelp! reviewers have given GOGA high marks for customer service and style. Some viewers of her collection at LA Fashion Week compared her work to designers Anna Sui and Adrienne Vittadini. Those are good comparisons.