Giovanna Battaglia: Styling The Fantasy
By Megan Parker
Fresh off the printing press, CR Fashion Book Issue 4 is aptly titled Fairy Tales. The magazine at the forefront of high fashion trends has therefore resoundingly proclaimed that fantasy inspired editorials are indeed back in vogue. Giovanna Battaglia is however no stranger to the genre having explored the theme countless times in her editorial work. I have compiled a short retrospective of her most noteworthy fairy tale themed projects which have served to transport the reader to both a magical time and place.
In the editorial "The Anastasia of Winter," we are presented with the long lost Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. Although the story is not entirely fantastical but also based on fact, the fairy tale element stems from the speculation surrounding whether or not Anastasia survived the Russian royal family massacre. In subsequent years, many a young woman stepped forward in order to claim her identity, therefore perpetuating the mystery surrounding her supposed death. Gio has styled the model in regal attire; luxe fabrics, capes and full skirts, and a golden crown even sits on her head in a particularly striking image. The exaggerated pale skin, doe-eyed stare, and blush-stained cheeks emphasize the youth and vulnerability of the Anastasia of Winter.
In Paolo Roversi’s "The White Fairy Tale," Natalia Vodianova encompasses the essence of fantasy-inspired characters while dressed in elaborate ensembles of designer origin. Giovanna has effectively highlighted the significance of the costume in fairy tales as the characters’ primary identifying feature. While no specific characters are referenced by the images, the reader is able to form their own ideas as to whom is represented based on how Natalia is dressed. I was instantaneously reminded of the Wicked Witch of the West as I glanced at the shot in which Natalia is dressed in a black Burberry by Christopher Bailey gown while posing seductively in a forest littered with snow.
Another example of the fairy tale influence in Giovanna Battaglia's work can be seen in the cover "In Wonderland!" shown above, styled by Gio for the November 2009 issue of Vogue Gioiello, clearly inspired by The Wizard of Oz. I have no doubt that fairy tales will continue to be a popular theme in editorials as a seemingly endless source of inspiration for editors, stylists, and photographers alike.
Giovanna Battaglia for Vogue Italia editorial image © 2009 Condé Nast, Vogue Nippon editorial image © 2013 Condé Nast. White Fairy Tale photo courtesy of facebook.com/Natalia-Vodianova
I am happy to welcome a wonderful writer to the team here at I Want To Be A Battaglia — Megan Parker, contributing editor! From concept to final word, Megan has a gift for writing creatively and I very much look forward to reading her thoughts as inspired by the bold style of the Battaglia sisters, Giovanna and Sara. Please join me in saying ciao to Megan….
Hello dear readers!
I am a freelance feature writer born and bred in the rainbow nation of sunny South Africa. As a contributor to I Want To Be A Battaglia, I have been given the opportunity to merge my two loves, writing and fashion, into one fulfilling whole. I admire how Giovanna has immersed herself so wholly and fully in popular culture. There is nobody bolder or more expressive in both her choice of attire and her editorial work. It is not just a job to her, but a lifestyle. She has inspired me to be braver, more playful and harder working. Her sister Sara is just as creatively inclined, with a personal style that matches my own. What a gifted family, what a magnetic muse. Viva la Battaglia!
Megan Parker photographs © 2014 Megan Parker. All Rights Reserved.
Giovanna and Sara Battaglia: Batmania
By Megan Parker
The event was Carine Roitfeld’s Black Tie, Smoky Eye Ball held at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild with a stellar guest list such as Kanye West, Karl Lagerfeld, and Riccardo Tisci in attendance. In accordance with the dress code, the innovative Battaglia sisters, Giovanna and Sara, wowed the crowd with the Batman motif painted intricately across the eyelids like an impossibly chic mask. It was a graphic statement that solidified the star status of the Batgirl Duo in the fashion world.
The characteristics of the Batgirl Duo are synonymous with the quintessential superhero, which just happens to be perfectly styled...
For a Battaglia, we accept nothing as impossible.
The appeal of the Batgirl Duo is far reaching as their careers in fashion have afforded them the opportunity to travel the world with Sara residing in Milan and Giovanna having established her home base as New York City.
Gio: Fashion Editor/Supreme Stylist
The former model turned fashion editor and stylist has been hailed as a pioneer of the modern street style phenomenon. No fashion blog is complete without the couture-clad image of Giovanna Battaglia peering from the pages dressed in an electric mix of colors and patterns that will immediately grab your attention. She follows the same approach in her stylistic endeavors with her editorials in W Magazine, best described as a whimsical pure fashion explosion.
Sara: Handbag Designer Extraordinaire
Sara Battaglia has conquered the niche market of exquisitely crafted designer handbags; she creates bags that are far more than just accessories, they are portable pieces of artwork.
Anna Dello Russo is credited with assisting Giovanna Battaglia with her precarious transition from model to stylist when she hired Gio at Vogue Italia after a spontaneous meeting at a nightclub. ADR can be seen firmly glued to the side of the Batgirl Duo when making glamorous appearances at private parties, red carpet events, and fashion shows.
The Batgirl Duo know implicitly that the secret to capturing the imagination of the masses is to arrive dressed head to toe in Dolce & Gabbana and with Stefano and Domenico on speed dial, their options are truly endless!
The bland and the mediocre will long be banished into oblivion with the Batgirl Duo as the reigning vigilantes of the fabulous crowd.
[Editor's note: Feeling the Batmania? To create this sexy, dramatic look yourself, follow the lead of MAC makeup artist Debbie Finnegan. She began by developing the outline of the bat mask with MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack using a stencil and a small angled brush. Finnegan then blended with a MAC Foundation Brush. The finishing touches around the eye area of the mask are filled in with MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline.]
Giovanna and Sara Battaglia photographs courtesy of matheusmazzafera.com and Fashion Spot.
Giovanna Battaglia: Queen of the Night
By Francesca Berti
Il Paramount Hotel, nel quartiere dei teatri di New York, è nel pieno di un’emozionante risveglio dopo una ristrutturazione costata 40 milioni di dollari, investiti dal magnate immobiliare e mecenate delle arti Aby Rosen, della RFR Holding LLC.
La proprietà simbolo di New York, inaugurata nel 1928, è uno dei pochi hotel progettato e costruito dall’architetto teatrale Thomas W. Lamb. L’estetica dell’hotel combina il suo patrimonio Art Deco, con uno stile moderno, creando un’atmosfera urbana sexy che ben incarna il vecchio glamour Newyorkese, e ne fa uno dei rari alberghi di Times Square con ancora un’anima.
La trasformazione del Paramount sarà completata con la riapertura del Diamond Horseshos, ritrovo bohémien aperto nel 1938 dall’eccentrico impresario teatrale Billy Rose, luogo dove ci si ritrovava dopo lo spettacolo per cenare, parlare della mise en scene e per guardare le belle fanciulle del varietà.
Dopo 75 anni dalla sua apertura il Diamond Horseshoe, situato nella sua posizione sotterranea originaria dell’hotel, riaprirà con una variegata programmazione, la prima della quale sarà una produzione chiamata Queen of the Night, che durerà solo sei settimane, e sarà prodotta da Randy Weider di Variety World Wide LLC, lo stesso di Sleep No More.
Il Queen of the Night è una fusione di performance che unisce cibo, musica, danza, moda, teatro e spettacoli circensi, e mette insieme un team di professionisti supercreativo che comprende Giovanna Battaglia alla direzione artistica, Thom Browne ai costumi e Jennifer Rubell al menù.
Il nome Queen of the Night è liberamente ispirato al ballo delle debuttanti ideato dalla Marchesa italiana Luisa Casati per la figlia Cristina. La Marchesa, dalla quale sono ispirati anche i costumi di scena, amava organizzare balli in maschera e feste sontuose con lo scopo di rendere se stessa e la sua vita un’opera d’arte vivente, come spesso proclamato dalla stessa.
Nel corso degli ultimi anni Luisa Casati ha ispirato interi editoriali di moda, come quello del 2003, dove Carine Roitfeld ha personificato la Marchesa ed è stata fotografata da Karl Lagerfeld nel numero del 22 Settembre del New Yorker.
Giovanna Battaglia: Queen of the Night
By Francesca Berti
The Paramount Hotel, in the theatre district of New York, is in the midst of an exciting awakening after a renovation costing $40 million, invested by the real estate tycoon and patron of the arts Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding LLC.
The property symbol of New York, inaugurated in 1928, is one the few hotels designed and constructed by the theatre architect Thomas W. Lamb. The aesthetics of the hotel combine its Art Deco heritage with a modern style, creating a sexy urban atmosphere that embodies the glamour of old New York, and makes it one of the rare hotels in Times Square that retains a soul.
The transformation of the Paramount will be completed with the reopening of the Diamond Horseshoe, a bohemian hangout opened in 1938 by the eccentric theatrical impresario Billy Rose, a place to meet for dinner after the show, to discuss mise-en-scène, and to watch the variety of beautiful girls.
After 75 years of opening, the Diamond Horseshoe, situated in its original underground location beneath the hotel, will reopen with a varied program, the first of which will be a production called Queen of the Night, lasting only six weeks, which will be produced by Randy Weider of Variety World Wide LLC, known for Sleep No More.
Queen of the Night is a fusion of performances that unites food, music, dance, fashion, theatre, and circus, and puts together a team of professionals that includes Giovanna Battaglia as creative director, Thom Browne as costume designer, and Jennifer Rubel as culinary wizard. Regarding the show and particularly the costumes, Browne shared, “My approach was based on hearing about Giovanna’s interpretation of the piece and her vision for the characters and I went from there. I wanted to be provocative and true to story. I only went into this by being persuaded by Giovanna and the people involved.”
The name "Queen of the Night" is loosely inspired by the debutante ball ideated by the Italian Marchesa Luisa Casati for her daughter Cristina. The Marchesa, who also inspired the costumes, loved organizing masked balls and sumptuous feasts with the purpose to make herself and her life a living work of art, as often proclaimed by the same.
In the course of recent years, Luisa Casati has inspired entire editorials of fashion, as in 2003, when Carine Roitfeld personified the Marchesa and was photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for the 22 September issue of The New Yorker.
Queen of the Night opens at the Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel in New York on New Year's Eve; although the shows for that evening are sold out, tickets for other dates are still available at this time.
Queen of the Night images courtesy of queenofthenightnyc.com.