Lillea Goian loves contradictions.
“When I’m working on a design, I like to take two elements that contradict each other — like a Motocross skier wearing sequins. I take two things people would never mix together and try to find a way to make them work.”
That was the L.V. Rogers grad’s M.O. while participating in Vancouver Fashion Week, an opportunity that landed her an interview with Elle Canada and drew widespread attention to her creations.
And she’s got big plans for her burgeoning vintage clothing company Lillzkillz.
“It’s all kind of inspired by how I dress myself, which is very strange. I only wear thrifted stuff, and I’ll take an elaborate jewelry neck-piece that’s colourful and bright and elegant, but then I’ll mix it with a shirt that has flames on it and makes me look like Guy Fieri.”
The way she describes it: “It doesn’t work, but somehow when you put it on it makes sense.”
The former Rhythm Roper, who got her first job at Bia Bora on Baker St., feels growing up in a community like Nelson was crucial to developing her idiosyncratic taste, and she’s grateful for the support she received from her friends and family.
“I stuck out like a sore thumb in high school. I’m so grateful for being raised in Nelson because even though there isn’t a lot of fashion there people are really accepting, and everyone supports each other in what they want to do.”
And when she left for Vancouver to study fashion at John Casablancas Institute, she took with her a conviction that she could make it work — even though she had little background in design.
“I knew I could pull it off. I’m super duper into vintage clothing but I wanted to explore an element of vintage that wasn’t very popular. What’s in now is Mom jeans and old Levi’s, camp jackets and recycled T-shirts, but I wanted to take it to a whole new level.”
She ultimately created eight looks for Vancouver Fashion Week, and though the preparation was stressful she couldn’t he happier with the outcome.
“I have so much drive to be so big in the world,” said Goian. “I want to show the world what I have to offer. I’ve loved fashion since I was two years old. The other day an interviewer asked me about fashion and I actually got choked up. I’m so consumed by it.”
For more information on Goian’s company visit Lillzkillz on Facebook. Many of her creations are available for sale online.