When COVID-19 first brought the world to a standstill last year, Eliana Gil Rodriguez—whose stretchy leotards and no-frills sweatsuits have been outfitting in-the-know Angelenos long before “cozy, chic” became our wardrobe manifesto—was presented with an opportunity she rarely had in her once go-go-go lifestyle. “I started to become really excited about new ways of being creative when we were suddenly stuck inside and unsure of the future,” the 31-year-old says from her LA office during a recent Zoom call. She added denim and fuzzy fleeces to her burgeoning brand, and struck up a long-discussed partnership with the jewelry designer Monica Sordo, whom she first met at an intimate dinner party in Paris a few years back.
“We always had this idea of working together because we admire each other’s style, but when we actually started talking about the collaboration, I was like, ‘This is going to work out perfectly,'” recalls Sordo, noting that they share both Venezuelan roots and minimalist design sensibilities. An earring quickly proved to be a natural starting point. After all, not only is Sordo best known for her door-knocker adornments, but Rodriguez herself often wears bold vintage takes, images of which wound up on their mood board, along with photos of glassware from the 1950s to 70s. Such inspiration—as well as countless Voice Memos, WhatsApp messages, and FaceTime sessions—led to three iterations of a bean-like form, complete with a hanging ball accent and a trio of semi-precious stones. “I really wanted something that was going to be a statement without being too large,” Rodriguez says of the final 24-karat gold-plated brass ear sculpture, which, much like Rodriguez’s high-end basics, can be dressed up or down and worn from day to night.
The capsule collection, which is currently available for pre-order, was hand-crafted in Sordo’s Fair Trade-certified workshop in Peru—a country that has been particularly crushed by the coronavirus. “It slowed down the process,” Sordo concedes before lighting up: “But it was worth the wait because we’re really happy with the outcome.” Judging from snaps from a celebratory al fresco dinner party in the Hollywood Hills this past weekend, their style-savvy group of gal pals are quite pleased as well. For the occasion, actress Laura Harrier chose a sunset-inspired white onyx, granite, and red jasper-accented take, while model and budding chef Eleonore Toulin, who prepared the evening’s roasted branzino and homemade lasagna, wore the onyx version with a clingy spandex Gil Rodriguez dress—just as they did in the collection’s lookbook, which was shot by another frequent collaborator of Rodriguez’s, Drew Escriva. Other friends in attendance ordered multiple pairs so that they could mix and match color combinations, Sordo says, adding: “Maybe we’ll do a rainbow one next!”