Women We Adore: Eliana Gil Rodriguez

Eliana Gil Rodriguez is a Venezuelan born, Canadian-raised creative, model and entrepreneur. She recently launched her line of classic, elevated, and uber comfortable basics at Gil Rodriguez. I have been following Eliana’s style via her Instagram for sometime and I have grown to love her sense of humor, unique eye for design and her ability to craft a witty caption that always ends in a call to action for political, environmental and social justice issues.

I shot these photos of Eliana in her LA home on a super gloomy and rainy Sunday afternoon in February. We talked about her place in fashion, buying vintage, why she shops vintage, and her approach to creating her own designs.

The garments photographed below are from her personal vintage collection.

Eliana Rodriguez
Eliana Rodriguez
I grew up going to thrift stores because we were poor immigrants and that was just what we did. I didn’t get new clothes. I had two older sisters so new clothes were not a thing unless my grandmother came into town, then maybe we would go to the mall. Other than that, it was hand-me-downs and Value Village, which is a thrift super store the size of a Walmart and it’s amazing. Then, when I was a teenager, I started deliberately thrifting stylish things and taught myself how to sew. I would make my pants skinnier or my dresses tighter, trying to be cute. So yeah, thrifting has always been a part of my life and I still have pieces from that time. Certain things were so good that they kind of followed me around.

Look 1

Robe: Vintage Dior, found in a little vintage shop in Laguna Beach that has since closed

Sandals: Handmade, found in Japan

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ElianaRodriguez.jpeg
I think wearing vintage to reduce clothing waste is great. I have always felt that if you’re going to succumb to the consumeristic urge to give yourself retail therapy, vintage is the only way to do that without causing much damage. But the true motivation is that it’s unique and it’s generally pretty affordable. The idea that you have to dig for it and then you have to figure out how to wear it is what draws me in.
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ElianaRodriguez.jpeg

Look 2

Skirt Suit: Vintage Karl Lagerfeld, found in San Francisco

Belt: Los Feliz Shop, Spain

Tank: Gil Rodriguez

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I don’t shop much anymore and one of the reasons is that the creative energy that used to make me want to buy things so that I could put outfits together, I have channeled into making things. It’s the same energy - the same instincts. The clothes I make are clothes I want to wear. They are inspired by things I look for and can’t find. I make clothes that make wearing the rest of your clothes easier, it’s the bread and butter of a wardrobe. They’re pieces that make all the other fun stuff you put together look good, mainly because they don’t have too much going on to distract.
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ElianaRodriguez.jpeg
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Look 3

Blouse: Found in a vintage shop in Shimokitazawa, a whole neighborhood in Tokyo dedicated to vintage

Skirt: Part of a set found at Painted Bird in LA years ago

Shoes: Found in the original Painted Bird in San Francisco that has since closed

Sustainability is this big word that’s being used in so many different ways, usually in an environmental context. But at the root sustainability is just about whether you’re able to maintain a certain behavior. I just don’t think that it’s sustainable to want new things every couple of months. Environmentally, emotionally, financially, it is not sustainable for me to look at my closet and constantly want to overhaul it.
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eliana-rodriguez.jpeg
What I love about vintage is that sometimes you’ll buy something and think, “why did I buy that? I’m never going to wear that.” and then suddenly, in 3 years, that thing is all you want to wear. It’s this beautiful thing that has cycles. Shopping for vintage is all about instinct, what you are drawn to. No one is telling you what you need and that’s why I think it creates good personal style.
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Look 4

Sweater: Old American Apparel (one of her designs)

Skirt: Los Feliz Shop, Spain

Boots: Old Chloé from the Real Real