It is with enormous pleasure that I introduce this exclusive interview with the amazingly talented Giovanna Battaglia! Very special thanks to Giovanna for taking her time to answer our questions and to Riccardo Tortato for his kind assistance with the interview. Thanks also to Gala and Francesca Berti for providing questions for the interview and to Lee Ferguson for her original illustration of Giovanna which accompanies the interview. I hope that you will all enjoy learning more about the fascinating life of Giovanna Battaglia.
You have had an amazing career, first as muse and catwalk model for Dolce & Gabbana, then making your mark as a gifted stylist. What advice would you give to an aspiring stylist? What are the three qualities you would define as most important to succeed as a stylist?
My advice is to get ready to work really hard... You have to have a lot of passion for fashion.
The three qualities are:
to be good at organization
to be curious
and, of course, have good taste.
I have read that the walls of your apartment in Milan are covered with your drawings. Do you keep up your art?
My wall is more of a visual expression, a sort of image diary. I wish I had more time to keep it updated.
Your exquisite wardrobe is endless! It must be difficult to organize such a large number of pieces of clothing, jewelry, shoes, and so forth. Do you have any secrets to organizing your wardrobe? Would you consider sharing a photo or two of your closet with us?
Yes, it is difficult. Because I travel so much, I don't have the time to reorganize. It is consantly changing. Right now it is a mess, so no picture please! :-))
Can you give us an example of the foods and beverages that you consume regularly, particularly those that you consider staples?
I love sushi and, of course, Italian food. I drink too much coffee and I eat too much junk food. Good red wine at the end of a good shoot is the best!
Your skin is so lovely, what can you share with us about your beauty rituals? What beauty products do you use faithfully?
I like Clarins day cream and SK-II toner and all the masks from SK-II.
Tell us what it is like to date Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld and to spend time with his family, you are photographed regularly with his mother, Carine, and his sister, Julia. What is the relationship like?
It is a great relationship. I have a lot of admiration for how Carine educated Vlad and Julia while being a working mum in this crazy fashion world. In the midst of it all, she remained so human and authentic...
What are your five (or so) favorite albums? Films? Books?
Watch the Throne! (Kanye West)
Radio Rock (movie)
The Artist (movie)
Romeo + Juliet (movie)
Romeo + Juliet (album the soundtrack)
Chopin Nocturne (album by Maurizio Pollini)
Pink Martini (album)
The Leopard by Visconti
You give the best of yourself, in terms of style and image, when your clothing choices reflect a more "classic" style, simple, with few details, very often made in Italy. Which are really your personal choices, when they are not influenced by circumstances of representation, by gifts received, by social events that required certain forces?
I go only with my instinct. I wear what I like in the moment. Sometimes I start from a pair of shoes, sometimes from a shirt or a skirt or a pair of big earrings. It is a natural process. I know what is good on me and what is not good. I prefer to have a more elegant look than a wild fashion look, even if i like very eccentric pieces. I would say I have an eclectic look.
Your work is undoubtedly influenced by suggestions collected in your daily life: travel, people, exclusive parties. Which life experience have you been unable to or would like to transfer to a photo shoot?
That is a good question. Maybe a safari in Africa? I've never been on one and I would love to go...
Often we see you in the company of colleagues and famous stylists. Is it possible to form a real friendship, trust, and confidence in your overall work environment?
I have some very close friends in this business we know each other for so many years — before they all became famous. I think that if you are always very honest a friendship can last even in this business. But I have very few real friends... and one of those is my sister.
What questions do you have for your followers?
I just want to thank them. It feels very nice to know you have people who like your work and your personality. It gives me confidence to keep on doing what I'm doing... and to do it better.
Giovanna Battaglia illustration © 2012 Lee Ferguson. All Rights Reserved.