Giovanna Battaglia: Girls in the Band
By Kristin Sekora
In the February issue of Vogue Nippon, Giovanna Battaglia sets out a septet of girl bands who go to town in “Girls in the Band.”
“Only God can make a tree, and only men can play jazz,” said an American jazzman. The Girls in the Band is a documentary by producer/director Judy Chaikin that shares the untold stories of female instrumentalists from the late 1930s to the present day with the focus on jazz and big band. Was our girl Gio thinking of this groundbreaking film and its strong female players when she created this musical fashion editorial? Perhaps, for she has created strong fashionable women who know their instruments.
Photographed in Sharif Hamza’s clean, well-focused style, the seven spreads encompass seven bands. This being Japan perhaps Giovanna Battaglia was attuned to the film Kamikaze Girls by Tetsuya Nakashima, for everything is bright and Asian-inspired.
On page two we find the consummate girl band, manicured in pale blue and adorned in pastel flower-strewn dresses. Wearing pink Karen Walker and Stefania Pia sunglasses one girlie girl even holds a pastel-pink bunny robot! The final to-die-for touch: Carven shoes which tie with thick leather straps at the ankles in pale blue and pink.
We move on to Flower Power as models in flowered sequined Marc Jacobs dresses form a colorful duo, one even has a yellow daisy of a guitar. I don’t know about you but I love it when Marc Jacob uses sequins. He has a striped sequin dress in his fall ready-to-wear collection that is described as a “liquid metal evening gown.” Could anything sound more gorgeous? I would wear his sequins in the day, and to prove he himself was thinking of just that, he shows this gown with house slippers! Giovanna Battaglia is always showing what we want to wear, how we want to look, and who we want to be. Here the girls are wearing lovely colorful Marc Jacobs platforms with charming buckles.
Further on girls in hippie headbands and workout clothes clutch mikes and leap through the air. Oh no! Do we have lip synching here? Giovanna may be referring in a good-natured way to the ignominious Milli Vanilli incident when the two boys in the band were stripped of their Grammy after it was revealed that they did not actually sing their song. Yes, Gio is up on her music!
Roadhouse Metallica and models with Bride of Frankenstein hair playing in fringe-accessorized dresses by Peter Som and Stella McCartney come next. On their feet are gaudy-in-a-good-way reptilian Isa Tapia heels.
Throughout the editorial Giovanna Battaglia has chosen a stunning selection of jewelry, exposing the reader to the best designers. There is Delfina Delettrez with her geometric chunky metal and jewels; Joomi Lim, who mixes burnished silver studs with large luminous pink pearls; Mawi, for large statement pieces; and Lucifer Vir Honestus — Barney’s has a pale emerald ring set in rose gold with diamonds by him that is exquisite.
But I have saved the best for last… There is one four-person band dressed in mellow yellow and surrounded by big speakers for an amped-up sound. Notable here are the wonderful yellow Plexiglas visors by House of Flora. What a discovery, grazie, Gio! This British fashion label, design house, and hatter was founded by Flora McLean and is extraordinary. Unfortunately, House of Flora doesn’t seem to be available in the U.S. So, there’s nothing for it — we will all have to move to England!
Vogue Nippon editorial images © 2013 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.