New emerging label GOCA is using creativity and style to address some of the very hard questions of life and death. In the world where fashion has become a commercial entity, GOCA is taking a philosophical approach to design.
On July 22 we were invited to watch the GOCA fashion show held at the Fashion Market. Gordana Rasic, the designer and founder of the GOCA fashion label, believes in the importance of storytelling and meaning in fashion design.
Gordana is a pre-med student at University of Illinois at Ubrana-Champaign. She started the label in November 2010 as a resource of avant-garde clothing. And soon it became a vehicle for preserving artistic expression in the fashion industry.
“Much of the fashion industry is portrayed as a rapid superficial world that caters to beauty and external appearances, but we here at GOCA wish to break from this image and display to the public that the fashion industry is a portal of various art vessels. Our runways are the modern day stages where models, our actors, put on a performance for us all to watch. The designer, the playwright. The makeup artist, the painter. The hair stylist, the sculptor…” said Gordana Rasic.
In the summer of 2011 Gordana met Omar Villalobos, young aspiring Fashion Marketing and Journalism student at Columbia College, who came on board handling the label’s public relations. Fashion is Omar’s lifestyle and he is dedicated to bringing high fashion to Illinois.
Omar had kick started GOCA’s presence in Chicago. Using skillful networking, Omar organized a collaborative photoshoot for the latest collection and lined up appearances is several fashion shows, including a solo showcase at Fashion Market.
While building up the suspense of the expectation to see GOCA’s great designs, Chicago-area folksinger and songwriter, Brandon Cummings performed a few songs while accompanying himself on a guitar. His blend of American roots music offers cultural commentary though Blues and traditional narratives.
“Anatomy of the Human Soul”, GOCA’s latest collection, was Gordana’s representation of her father’s battle with colon cancer and how her perception of the value of organs has changed throughout his experience.
“He [my farther] was struggling with difficulties in his abdominal region and remarked how valuable these organs are, when not so long ago, he invested no value to them. I began thinking of what I considered a vital organ.” shared Gordana.
Touched by this young duo’s determination to take over the fashion industry and the unique philosophical approach to the design of the collection, we’ve caught up with Gordana and Omar for an interview.
Reporter and photographer – Raven Mai