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By Stefano Tonchi 


For the Love of Shoes
By Patrice Farameh


Jewels by JAR (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
By Adrian Sassoon 


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By Lori Goldstein


Swans: Legends of the Jet Society
By Nick Foulkes


Scalamandre: Haute Decor
By Steven Stolman


10 Corso Como: A to Z
By Carla Sozzani


Ettore Sottsass
By Philippe Thome 


Eddie Borgo

Although his name might not ring a bell straight away, look out, because jewelry designer Eddie Borgo will surely have the whole fashion world taking very soon. In fact, the Atlanta native is already a favorite of Giovanna Battaglia, as well as other prominent stylists such as Kate Lanphear. Giovanna and Kate have even appeared in the designer’s look books. Just like Giovanna’s style, Eddie Borgo’s jewelry is daring and different, and at times veers into "dangerous territory" — literally. However, the jewelry designer is not only about spikes and studs, there is always a touch of luxury and glamour incorporated into his pieces as well. Jeffrey New York’s associate buyer Philip Manghisi sums up Borgo’s style well, indicating that it is "the perfect mix of edge and glamour." The fact that his jewelry is adorned with crystals and semi-precious metals is indicative of Borgo’s "glam goth" vision.

Borgo’s new collection is a perfect example of how the designer is able to combine dark and mysterious elements with a more feminine approach while creating his pieces. Borgo’s collection was previewed in March in a duplex apartment near the Jardin du Palais Royal in Paris and featured "dangerous objects in nature" which the designer also interpreted as "soft and covetable." Fashion connoisseurs could therefore feast their eyes on beautifully crafted metal wasps and praying mantises along with orchids and tiger lilies. That’s quite some range for a young designer who used to lay out his jewelry on top of his comforter in the Hôtel Louvre Bons Enfants in Paris, hoping to lure the press.

What has Eddie Borgo been up to lately? It seems 2011 has been an immensely busy year for him, as he was the guest editor of the Spring Issue of the indie magazine Me, interviewing fashion mavericks such as Giovanna, Kate Lanphear, and Joseph Altuzarra, centering on the theme of New York. More recently, the designer created a CFDA-supported capsule collection of jewelry for J. Crew which was introduced in July and sold out shortly thereafter! This is hardly surprising – the pieces are softened versions of his bondage-inspired jewelry which Giovanna Battaglia modeled in Borgo’s Spring/Summer 2011 look book. These particular collection pieces were all inspired by either a padlock, a corset, or a bondage cuff. The J. Crew pieces, on the other hand, appear less dangerous – in more ways than one – while still retaining their edgy, punky quality. Perfect for any fashionista!

It is clear that the 32-year-old jewelry designer has amassed an array of accomplishments, made all the more impressive by his young age. However, it seems that the artist is still in touch with his roots, not letting all the fame go to his head. In fact, Borgo invited his mother to his first CFDA invitation last year. As long as he keeps on making his tough jewelry, we certainly won’t mind that Eddie Borgo is a softie at heart.

Visit Giovanna Battaglia's Closet to see her wearing the Tassel Pendant or the Gold Cuff by Eddie Borgo.

Giovanna Battaglia and Eddie Borgo photographs © 2011 The New York Times and Eddie Borgo.


Marcel Duchamp

"Generate ideas, no matter how wild or far-fetched, and enable new associations to be made in the gray matter of your brain." This is how Marcel Duchamp, one of Giovanna Battaglia's favorite artists, viewed art and life. The French artist for whom Gio has a soft spot often perceived real life objects as art, for example in his depiction of a urinal named "Fountain," one of the most familiar of his ready-mades.

A unique sense of humor you say? Does Marcel Duchamp see something that everyone else is missing? Is he being an optimist? The answer may be all of the above. Perhaps this is why Duchamp is a favorite of Giovanna. Perhaps he is right in his perceptions, too.

Marcel Duchamp was a playful man who believed in leaving convention at home. Born in 1887, Duchamp's work and ideas influenced the development of post World War II Western art. He is often associated with Surrealism and the Dada movement, a primarily visual arts, literature, poetry and theatre whose purpose was to ridicule what its participants considered to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. While Dada was anti-war, it was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist. Duchamp’s participation in Surrealism was largely behind the scenes. He produced relatively few pieces of art, as he quickly moved through the avant-garde rhythms of his time. In the end, it was his perspective that was to be looked upon as a mystery. Thousands of books and articles attempt to make sense of Duchamp's artwork and philosophy, but his interviews and his writings only added to the ambiguity. He found the interpretations made of him amusing, mere reflections of the interpreter.

There is a human need to try to make sense of art, to put it into an already existing category or box. To be free, evolved, secure within yourself, and open to possibility takes courage and allows you to grow. Duchamp takes us on a journey to be free enough to embrace the chaos and see it through a different eye and lifts us out of our comfort zone, bringing us back to reality with humor and maybe a new sense of enlightenment for the future. Perhaps Giovanna looks at life from Duchamp's vantage point... She loves to laugh and have fun, and while she seemingly takes her style seriously, she is free to move about mixing textures, patterns, and styles, remaining open to the possibility of ideas and looks that may not be thought of at first blush. Yet somehow Gio always comes across as chic and effortless as we all know only very few can achieve.

For a further taste of Duchamp's wit and intellect, watch the brief video "Why Not Sneeze?" or his interview with the BBC in 1966, his presence is enchanting.

Marcel Duchamp photographs courtesy of,,,, and


Tabitha Simmons

Shoes are a typically a fashionista’s main consideration when assembling a look and in Giovanna Battaglia's style league, heels are the primary choice with an occasional flat as the outfit dictates, of course. It is no surprise that one of the favorites of our lovely Gio is Tabitha Simmons, the very beautiful shoe designer and contributing editor for Vogue now dwelling in New York City. (I can attest to Tabitha's beauty, having seen her in person at the Balenciaga store on FNO.) A film major, model, stylist, and also British by birth, Simmons is married to photographer and collaborator Craig McDean, a veritable fashion powerhouse couple.

Simmons' shoe collection is uber-sexy and strappy — flattering and feminine even in wedge form hence the attraction by Gio. While pricey at approximately $600-$2,200, the Tabitha Simmons shoe is to be missed neither on the runway nor on the streets of New York, London, Paris, and Milan. Her designs are crafted in fantastic materials such as snakeskin, color blocked leather, and beaded satin, all made for the well-heeled but none as well put together as Giovanna. Not surprisingly, she adores Simmons' sexy calf length stiletto boots in leather patchwork.

Callouses be damned! Simmons has also designed the arches to be comfortable even for the most flat-footed style icons. Another plus for those who might be doubtful: Simmons is charitably minded. She recently created a design for Project Ocean, a partnership between Selfridges and the Zoological Society of London, with all profits from the sale of the sandals designated for charity. The shoes, which cost $1,500 US based on the current exchange rate, can be purchased on

[Editor's note: Tabitha Simmons was featured in the "Une Fille Un Style" section of the October 2004 issue of Vogue Paris so I have translated it from French to English as an added bonus.]

UNE FILLE: En plaisant exil à New York, Tabitha est une rédactrice très mode pour Vogue US, V et Another Magazine. Elle travaille aussi en étroite collaboration avecAlexander McQueen. Ce qui lui permet de revenir plus souvent à Londres, ville de coeur qu'elle fait découvrir à son fils Elliott (9 mois) qu'elle et son mari, le photographe de mode Craig McDean, ont mis au monde un jour de blizzard new-yorkais.  

UN STYLE: ‹‹Éclectique? Varié?›› Un jamais fini fait exprès, un savant contrôle du dérapage, une décadence élégante. Tabitha s'habille à l'instinct. ‹‹Parfois ça me prend trois minutes, parfois je change jusqu'à ce que je trouve la bonne formule. Comme l'important, c'est de se sentir bien, le tas de vêtements peut être impressionnant.›› En ce moment, elle a envie de pièces sexy et féminines, comme cette jupe en denim noire archi-structurée Alexander McQueen, la petite robe bustier toute droite années 40 qu'elle vient de trouver dans un vintage shop de l'East Village ou une cape brodée, chinée chez Virginia's à Londres.

SA BRITISH TOUCH: ‹‹Je n'ai pas peur de m'amuser en m'habillant.›› Jamais de total look, mais un grand sens du mélange. Excentrique jusqu'à un certain point, Tabitha garde toujours le sens du chic. Veste victorienne élimée aux épaules portée sur une jolie petite robe, pyjama une pièce en soie des années 20 ou formule jean/chaussures insensées, elle jongle avec les vêtements hautement siglés, bien chinés ou repérés dans les vitrines géantes genre Top Shop.

LE JOUR: ‹‹ Quand j'étais enceinte, je vivais dans mon Earl Jeans, la chemise de Craig et mes boots noires AF Vandevorst ou celles à grosses boucles Ann Demeulemeester.›› Mais, là encore, elle jouait avec la mode en retaillant des robes de l'Armée du Salut (dont une, sa fierté, entièrement imprimée Elvis) pour s'en faire des tops. ‹‹Maintenant que j'ai retrouvé ma silhouette, attention, je suis de retour!›› Premier acte de ce come-back : une paire de platform shoes John Galliano, en python rouge glossy et talon Plexi.

LE SOIRE: ‹‹J'adore m'habiller.›› Mais avec le bébé et son nouveau style de vie, elle joue la partition de la variation, en changeant juste de top ou de chaussures. Pour une soirée à l'opéra de Londres, elle enfile un long pantalon en satin Louis Vuitton et une petite camisole vintage. ‹‹Je fais toujours attention à la silhouette et aux proportions. Si le pantalon est très ample, je choisis un haut plus ajusté.››

CHAUSSURES: Sa passion ultime, surtout si elles sont hors du commun. ‹‹Je choisis d'abord les chaussures. Ensuite, je m'habille en fonction.›› Sa préférée : une paire lacée en cuir marron Alexander McQueen issue de la collection Robot. ‹‹ J'en ai deux paires. S'il arrive quelque chose à l'une, il me reste l'autre.›› Elle les a portées avec une mini-robe de mousseline rouge Ann Demeulemeester lors d'une fête mode; un jean pour aller au concert de Marilyn Manson; un robe vintage 40 pendant la journée.

TABOUS: ‹‹Jamais est un mot que je ne dis plus, car mes grandes sentences m'ont trop souvent rattrapée !›› En insistant : les pantalons plissés devant. ‹‹En tout cas, aujourd'hui, je n'en porterai pas...››

ELLIOTT: Lui aussi a son style éclectique, un cocktail cool à base de Bonpoint, Petit Bateau et pièces vintage, chinées chez What comes around goes around (New York) ou Sheila Cook (Londres). ‹‹Je découvre le plaisir d'habiller un garçon. En fait, l'allure est plus relax que pour une petite fille. Même s'il porte des vêtements de créateur, j'essaie de ne pas lui en donner l'air.›› Son look favori : un treillis, une veste japonaise, un T-shirt brodé d'une Camaro, la voiture de son papa, et son éléphant rose.

ACCESSOIRES: ‹‹Beaucoup !›› Elle collectionne les ceintures, les écharpes années 20, les sacs du soir anciens. Le jour, elle aime changer de sac régulièrement, mais, en ce moment, elle a du mal à séparer de sa grande besace en cuir marron Balenciaga.

BIJOUX: Très peu et toujours très fins. Deux bagues de fiançailles : un petit camée que Craig lui a offert à Venise et une autre, plus officielle, en diamants et saphir XIXe******* (Fred Leighton). ‹‹L'alliance, en revanche, doit toujours être neuve.›› La sienne est signée Tiffany.

A GIRL: In pleasant exile in New York, Tabitha is a fashion editor for Vogue US, V, and Another Magazine. She also works in close collaboration with Alexander McQueen. This allows her to return more often to London, the city of her heart which she introduced to her son Elliott (9 months) whom she and her husband, the fashion photographer Craig McDean, gave birth to on the day of a New York blizzard.

A STYLE: "Eclectic? Varied?" One never does it on purpose, a learned skid control, an elegant decadence. Tabitha dresses with instinct. "Sometimes it takes me three minutes, sometimes I change until I find the right formula. As important, is to feel good, the pile of clothes can be impressive." Right now, she wants sexy, feminine pieces, like this black denim skirt arch-structured by Alexander McQueen, the small strapless dress straight from the 40s she has found in a vintage shop in the East Village or an embroidered cape, mottled from Virginia's in London.

HER BRITISH TOUCH: "I'm not afraid to have fun dressing myself." Never a total look, but a grand sense of mixing. Eccentric to some degree, Tabitha always keeps the sense of chic. A Victorian jacket with threadbare shoulders worn over a pretty dress, silk one piece pajamas from the 20s, or formula denim/shoe crazy, she juggles with highly branded apparel clothing, although mottled or spotted in the giant windows of Top Shop.

FOR DAY: "When I was pregnant, I lived in my Earl jeans, Craig's shirt, and my black boots by AF Vandevorst or those with big buckles by Ann Demeulemeester." But again, she played with fashion by cropping dresses from the Salvation Army (one of which, her pride, entirely imprinted with Elvis) to make them into tops. "Now that I have regained my silhouette, look out, I'm back!" The first act of her comeback: a pair of platform shoes by John Galliano, in glossy red python and Plexi heels.

FOR EVENING: "I adore dressing myself." But with the baby and his new lifestyle, she plays the partition of the variation, by changing just the top or the shoes. For an evening at the opera in London, she dons long satin trousers by Louis Vuitton and a small vintage camisole. "I always pay attention to the silhouette and the proportions. If the pants are very wide, I choose a more fitted top."

SHOES: Her ultimate passion, especially if they are unusual. "First I select the shoes. Then I dress accordingly." Her favorite: a pair laced in brown leather by Alexander McQueen from the Robot collection. "I have two pairs. If something happens to one, I have another." She has worn them with a mini-dress of red chiffon by Ann Demeulemeester at a fashion party; with jeans for going to the concert of Marilyn Manson; with a 1940s vintage dress during the day.

TABOOS: "Never is a word that I do not say because my great phrases often catch me!" By insisting: pleated front pants. "Anyway, today, I do not wear them..."

ELLIOTT: He too has his eclectic style, a cool cocktail based on Bonpoint, Petit Bateau, and vintage pieces, mottling at What Comes Around Goes Around (New York) or Sheila Cook (London). "I discovered the pleasure of dressing a boy. In fact, the pace is more relaxed than for a girl. Even if he wears designer clothes, I try not to give him air." Her favorite look: a lattice, a Japanese jacket, a tshirt embroidered with a Camaro, the car of his dad, and his pink elephant.

ACCESSORIES: "Many!" She collects belts, scarves from the 1920s, old evening bags. For day, she likes to change her bag regularly, but right now it's hard to separate from her large brown leather bag by Balenciaga.

JEWELRY: Very little and still very fine. Two engagement rings: a small cameo that Craig offered her in Venice and another, more formal, 19th century diamond and sapphire (Fred Leighton). "The alliance, however, must always be new." It is signed Tiffany.


Tabitha Simmons photographs courtesy of,,, and
"Une Fille Un Style" images of Tabitha Simmons © 2004 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.


Solange Azagury-Partridge

Being a glamorous fashionista also means adorning yourself with beautiful jewelry to complement your wardrobe and Giovanna Battaglia has quite a collection of baubles to consider when accessorizing. The exquisite jewelry of Solange Azagury-Partridge is often a favorite choice of hers. Born and raised in London, the designer studied French and Spanish in school and promptly took a job with the costume jeweler Butler & Wilson after graduation. A year later she went to work for antique dealer Gordon Watson, where she discovered the vintage jewelry of Cartier, Van Cleef, and Boucheron, igniting her creative spark.

Putting her experience into practice, Azagury-Partridge began with a very personal design in 1987, that of her own engagement ring. Her uncut diamond embedded in a simple gold band garnered so many admirers that she taught herself to design jewelry and set up in business in 1990, launching her Enamels, Kinetic, and Cosmic collections. As Azagury-Partridge says, "There comes a day in every woman's life when she wakes up wanting diamonds." In 2001, she was chosen by the one and only Tom Ford to be Creative Director at Boucheron and received awards and accolades for her work from the Design Museum and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs du Louvre. She has created a costume jewelry collection for H&M, two fragrances — Stoned and Cosmic, and a special edition Hotlips for (RED). In April 2010, Azagury-Partridge debuted her first jewelry line for brides: Tough Love.

What a journey since that first engagement ring culminating in her famous Notting Hill and Madison Avenue shops where you might just spot Giovanna perusing the Zodiac collection, the precious gems — emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds set in black gold, or perhaps even a selection from the, dare I say, bridal jewelry... Be sure to visit Solange Azagury-Partridge's web site which presents her unusually beautiful designs with humor and originality, as she wisely notes: "I just want my jewels to add a bit of joy to life."

Solange Azagury-Partridge jewelry photographs courtesy of Solange Azagury-Partridge and


Pirate Radio

We know that Giovanna Battaglia possesses an amazing and eclectic sense of style. While it is difficult to sum it up in a few words, her style is definitely marked by rock chick elements. Remember that black Valentino dress she wore to the Vogue Paris masquerade ball? And those red Christian Louboutin boots she paired it with? Exactly. Giovanna even prefers her men to be a bit rock ’n’ roll as she is currently dating Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, a man who would be fabulous as the lead singer of a rock band were he not busy dealing art. It is therefore hardly surprising that one of Gio's favorite movies is the 2009 British comedy Pirate Radio (retitled The Boat That Rocked in Europe): as she describes it, "Music, British, great style and fun rock 'n' roll!"

For those who have not seen the film, it centers on a pirate ship which plays music from the middle of the North Sea, drawing in half the English radio audience. The DJs onboard actually stand up to a government that wanted Brits to enjoy classical music solely and nothing else. One of the main protagonists is seventeen-year-old Carl (Tom Sturridge): his life changes when he is sent to stay with his godfather Quentin (Bill Nighy) who runs the "Radio Rock" station. Consequently, Carl soon finds out that even pirate radio ships can live by the credo of "sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll," and in the midst of this atmosphere the young man not only falls in love but also learns the true identity of one of the ship’s passengers — a revelation that will change his life forever. However, while Carl’s storyline may have its serious moments, the film does not lack a true rock ’n’ roll vibe. In fact, when the Marine Offences Act makes pirate radio stations illegal, the ship’s DJs decide that the show must go on nonetheless. But then an explosion goes off on the ship and the lives of the rebellious rockers are at stake....

Will they or won’t they make it? Our lips are sealed, so you’ll need to watch this rocking film to find out! However, we will say it is evident why Giovanna loves Pirate Radio: rock ’n’ roll, truly memorable fashion, amazing actors (Bill Nighy and Philip Seymour Hoffman amongst others), and a rebellious streak, just like Gio herself. Despite the fact that the film did not do very well at the box office, earning only £16.1 million in its first 12 weeks in Britain, it is truly worth seeing. Rock on!

Pirate Radio images © 2009 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.