“Living in America has really changed the way I dress,” says Ganna as she chats to me using the hands-free in her car. She’s driving around sunny Los Angeles, a polarising opposite to Ukraine where she was born and raised. With a growing following of girls eager to replicate her high-low mix of RNB nostalgia, Ganna not only looks the part, but is well versed on ’90s film and music culture – making it impossible not to chuckle as she pulls into a car wash on Sunset and requests the scent ‘Vanilla Ice’.
Living in Hollywood, Ganna has caught the inevitable film bug. An aspiring director, her enthusiasm is palpable when discussing work by the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Kahlil Joseph – but does she have any qualms about the city of angels? Only that a year-round summer doesn’t afford her ever-growing jacket collection enough air time, she says.
I feel like my personal style comes from the period I’m inspired by at the time. Sometimes, I feel like dressing up really ’60s or more tomboy ’90s, but my style pretty much always has this aesthetic of mixing vintage clothes with something new. I’m always inspired by certain characters in the movies or books I’m reading, or by spreads in old magazines – I really love magazines from the ’90s and that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration from. It’s just how I feel; it depends on the day. I live in LA so it’s very hot most days and you have to really think about what to wear, but at night… it’s getting colder now so you can be a little bit more creative.
I love channelling a character from a movie or book. I really love Angelina Jolie movies from the ’90s like Gia or Girl Interrupted. It’s just that kind of like, underground rock style mixed with a simple ’90s aesthetic. Warriors is also one of my favourite movies – I just love all those rock jackets. Sometimes I watch documentaries about the ’60s or ’70s, just to see how people dressed on the streets; I feel like everybody just looked so polished and cool. I just recently watched Romeo and Juliet again and I love Leonardo DiCaprio and his boys in those Hawaiian shirts – I was wearing Hawaiian shirts for like a week after that, ha-ha.
My style has changed a lot since I moved to America from Ukraine. Here, you’re inspired by a whole different group of people and also by the lifestyle. Back home, it’s more like everybody just trying to be so pretty, so when you look a little bit tomboy, or you start wearing baggy clothes, people just think you don’t have money. There’s a very polished aesthetic with fashion there but it’s changing right now because they’ve started following American or other foreign trends. America definitely lets you be a little more free compared to Ukraine, where sometimes if you wear certain outfits people just laugh at you on the street … they’re very conservative, I guess. For sure, kids are the trendsetters right now because they don’t have much money, so they’ll dress vintage or really embrace this soviet aesthetic that’s so important in fashion right now. When I check my Instagram I see a lot of followers from back home but the older people are still like ‘You’ve gotta wear some Chanel dress or something’ to be considered fashionable.
I can’t pick a favourite fashion city because every city I go to has its own aesthetic. If I go to Italy or Tuscany with my family, everybody is just riding around on bikes and it makes you want to wear some cool summer dresses and sneakers and really embrace the beach vibes. Then when I’m back in LA, it’s another aesthetic and it just depends on how I feel. Like right now, I really want to go to New York because I want to wear my jackets that I can’t wear in LA, and I miss that. They’re just so cool; maybe I’ll go for Christmas so I can wear them.
Every piece in my wardrobe is important to me because when I buy something, it’s unique and it’s forever. I just got this Burberry jacket when I was in Chicago. It has the original Burberry print and it’s just this classic piece that needed to be in my wardrobe. I could wear it every day, but it might be a little intense, ha-ha, but that’s my favourite piece right now. I don’t really think about it that much; I’m just like ‘That’s really cool, I better get it’.
Where I shop really depends on what I’m looking for. If I want a certain shoe that just came out from like Prada or something, I’ll go to the store because I really love to try stuff before I buy it. I shop vintage a lot in flea markets and some stores in LA. I order some clothes on Ssense if I want designer pieces but that’s pretty much it. The rest of my stuff comes from friends who work in fashion just sending me stuff, which is really nice.
I already kind of know what I’m going to do after modelling; I want to be a director. I’m currently working on shooting a couple of music videos for some really cool artists; I’m also writing my first short film. I really want to keep moving in that direction because I love film and I love being able to shoot and edit it myself – it’s the whole process.
I can’t even name like three favourite movies because there’s more like 25. One of my favourites is A Clockwork Orange, or Space Odyssey, or just like any Stanley Kubrick movie really. I really like that movie The Skin I Live In by Pedro Almodóvar; it’s the craziest story and I just love it when films are really complex and it takes a minute to figure out what’s going on. I’m waiting for Wes Anderson’s new one that’s coming about dogs. His aesthetic is so beautiful and inspiring and I feel like he always creates that unique world that you want to live in every day.
I think the relationship between fashion and art has always been very close because all art is connected. Designers and artists have always been collaborating and it just works because we’re all inspired by one another. Like, a director could be inspired by a musician, and then they were inspired by a painting and then someone creates a collection about that … It’s a strong relationship.”
Ganna wears her own wardrobe throughout.
WORDS Samantha Crossley
PHOTOGRAPHY Grace Pickering
HAIR Marvin Schollenberg
MAKEUP Nicole Nouvelle
TALENT Ganna Bogdan @ Photogenics Media LA