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