Before she began designing clothing more than 15 years ago, Malibu native Roxana Zal did what many who flock to Los Angeles aspire to do: she was a successful film and television actress and producer. In fact, Zal is credited as the youngest actress to win an Emmy, which she did at age 14 for the TV movie There’s Something About Amelia. But as an avid music lover and fan of the fashions of the 1960s and 1970s icons like Stevie Nicks, she became inspired to begin trying to fill a hole she saw in the market: vintage inspired dresses that were comfortable, beautiful, and made with the love and craftsmanship that solidified their heirloom status.
With GoldDust Dresses, that’s exactly what she’s created. The line of slip dresses, kaftans, jumpers, and maxis is comprised of vintage Indian fabrics that are hand printed and hand sewn—which also means they’re sustainable. Zal’s definitively bohemian viewpoint perfectly embodies her gypsy spirit; admittedly, she’ll never lose her Malibu roots. We chatted with Roxana about how where she grew up influenced the clothing she creates, as well as what would be on her ultimate playlist (let’s just say there would need to be multiple volumes), and who first whet her vintage appetite.
You're from Malibu: do you think the landscape you grew up in directly influences your line?
Yes absolutely! I am such a “look at the sky, look at the sunset, look at the moon, stay in the car to listen to the rest of the song” type of person. Those are my Malibu girl roots. GoldDust has that natural, original energy because the fabric was hand-woven, hand blocked, and handmade.
Let's talk about your relationship with vintage. Any early memories of exploring with it?
From as young as I can remember I wanted to dress like my mom, who was heavily into fashion. She was from England and her wide-ranging style included vintage clothes, rock n roll, and punk, as well as major designers like Givenchy, Pucci, and YSL. I was always sneaking items out her closet to wear and especially with her vintage clothes I was very curious about the story behind each piece.
GoldDust has (a) natural, original energy
because the fabric was hand-woven,
hand blocked, and handmade.
If GoldDust had a playlist, what would be on it?
Music is my biggest passion and inspiration—my list could be a book! To name a few: Jack White, Ryan Adams, Stevie Nicks, Beth Orton, Emmylou Harris, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, The Cult, Bob Marley, Muddy Waters, early Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead, Elliot Smith, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, The Kills, Cesario Evora, Edith Piaf, Lauryn Hill, Fleetwood Mac, Hope Sandoval, Johnny Cash, U2, Roy Orbison, and Rod Stewart. And that’s just a taste!
Other than with music, what are some ways you tap into creativity?
I get inspired when traveling, so many ideas come to me from different people and their cultures. Also, reading a great book and other people's art and storytelling gives me creative energy.
How do you think your experience in the entertainment business may have influenced how you approach clothing design?
Being an actress involves tapping into both an internal and external world. When developing a character's world, what she wore influenced so much for me: how she walked, how she felt physically, and why she wore what she did. Being an actress helped develop the designer side of me tremendously. I think it was naturally happening before I knew it.
Besides a good vintage-inspired dress, what are your other personal wardrobe staples?
I'm obsessed with finding really great t-shirts and jeans. I love Anine Bing and Mother for denim and Rick Owens tees and tanks. A great pair of shoes is also important: Bedstu makes gorgeous handmade boots and sandals and I also love great platforms by Chloe, Miu Miu or YSL. And I can never have enough vintage Native American turquoise jewelry. I collect it.
Describe the perfect LA day.
I’d start by doing some hot yoga, then getting creative one way or another. I’d take a drive with music blasting and maybe see some type of art or music show with friends. One of my favorite things is just being home with family and friends making a great meal together.
My favorite vintage find of all time is:
A 1960's Missoni three-piece suit. It has a kimono, a blouse and bell-bottoms to die for, in the label’s cosmic classic colors.
The musician (dead or alive) I'd most want to jam out with is:
I cannot go one day without:
Harmless Harvest coconut water and Optimally Organic red pine needle oil.