Take A Bow

Stylist Gio­vanna Battaglia En­gel­bert’s chic Swedish home is filled with quirky trea­sures, much like her wardrobe. By Lucy Half­head. Pho­tographed by Harry Crow­der.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents - Gio­vanna in her sit­ting room. Silk and vel­vet dress, Valentino. Jew­ellery (worn through­out), Gio­vanna’s own.

“Ev­ery time I leave the house is a chance to dress up,” says the Ital­ian stylist and fash­ion ed­i­tor Gio­vanna Battaglia En­gel­bert, re­clin­ing on a white Char­lotte Per­riand daybed in her el­e­gant Stock­holm apart­ment. “Whether it’s for a busi­ness meet­ing or just go­ing to the su­per­mar­ket, I try to be the best ver­sion of my­self.”

So it’s no sur­prise that for her three-day wed­ding in Capri in 2016 to Swedish real-es­tate de­vel­oper Os­car En­gel­bert, the bride wore a daz­zling ar­ray of out­fits, from an Alexan­der McQueen gown with a huge, ruf­fled or­ganza train to a metal­lic Prada dress for the disco-themed af­ter-party—held on a huge cargo ship in the mid­dle of the Mediter­ranean to get around the is­land’s strict noise cur­few.

Gio­vanna’s fan­tasy fash­ion life be­gan on the cob­bled streets of Mi­lan, where she was born and brought up dur­ing the ’80s by par­ents who were both artists. “As a child I re­mem­ber be­ing fas­ci­nated by the clothes in the shop win­dows and wait­ing ex­cit­edly out­side the So­ci­età del Giardino to watch the celebri­ties ar­riv­ing for the Ver­sace show,” she says. “But my fam­ily wasn’t thrilled about it. To­day, art and fash­ion are best friends, but back then, art in Mi­lan was an elite world and fash­ion was not seen as very in­tel­lec­tual.”

She ini­tially stud­ied at the revered Br­era Fine Arts Academy, where her mother teaches sculp­ture, but dropped out at 17 when she started mod­el­ling for Dolce & Gab­bana. “Back then, the fash­ion houses were more hu­man-sized ... You went in, and you did re­search, and be­came like a muse.” It was at this point that she met stylist Char­lotte Stock­dale who en­cour­aged her to pur­sue a ca­reer in cre­ative di­rec­tion and edit­ing. Over the years Gio­vanna has worked with pho­tog­ra­phers in­clud­ing Peter Lind­bergh and Pa­trick De­marche­lier, as well as a host of top mod­els. One of her favourite mem­o­ries is of Gisele Bünd­chen’s first sea­son. “She walked into the room, and my

jaw dropped. It was right af­ter the ’90s waif look, and then all of a sud­den, Gisele ar­rived full of en­ergy, healthy and cool—a woman to as­pire to.”

An early In­sta­gram adopter—her fol­low­ing now num­bers 890k—Gio­vanna (@bat_­gio) used the plat­form to es­tab­lish her­self as a street-style sen­sa­tion, of­ten wear­ing mul­ti­ple out­fits a day to the shows in Lon­don, Paris, Mi­lan, and New York. Hailed for her abil­ity to com­bine max­i­mal­ist ac­ces­sories and wild prints with sleek tai­lor­ing and clas­sic sil­hou­ettes, she al­ways ap­pears so­phis­ti­cated but without tak­ing her­self too se­ri­ously. Her great­est hits in­clude an em­broi­dered skirt and bralette, both by Prada, teamed with a yel­low feath­ered jacket, and a pink sparkly Valentino dress. She takes in­spi­ra­tion from ac­tresses Lupita Ny­ong’o and Tilda Swin­ton—women, she says, who are not afraid to be bold and in­ven­tive with their style. “I also be­lieve that you should be com­fort­able with what you’re wear­ing, which doesn’t mean you have to wear sweat­pants, it means you wear what you feel is right for your body.”

Day-to-day, her favourite la­bels are Ce­line, with touches of Ba­len­ci­aga, Prada, Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo heels, and an abun­dance of Alaïa. In fact, her most cher­ished item is a vin­tage Alaïa leop­ard-print dress, which she paired with a yel­low Fendi Peek­a­boo mini leather bag at Paris Fash­ion Week in 2013. “I wanted that dress so badly, ever since I saw those iconic pic­tures of the ’90s su­per­mod­els wear­ing it,” she says, “Fi­nally I found it up for sale. It was more than I would have liked to spend, but it was to­tally worth it.”

Gio­vanna’s ex­ten­sive wardrobe is di­vided be­tween her homes in New York, the English coun­try­side, and the Swedish cap­i­tal where we have met for the BAZAAR shoot. “I have an on­line pho­to­graphic ar­chive, so I can keep track of where ev­ery­thing is.” The Stock­holm apart­ment oc­cu­pies part of an 1800s town­house on Djurgår­den is­land that has been owned by her hus­band’s fam­ily for cen­turies. Fur­nished with clas­sic vin­tage pieces in­clud­ing Jean Royère wall lights, a Pierre Chapo cof­fee ta­ble, and a Vladimir Ka­gan sofa, the dé­cor is a re­flec­tion of Os­car’s

love of mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture. “I re­ally ad­mire the re­fined aes­thet­ics of this coun­try,” Gio­vanna says. “Ev­ery­thing in Swe­den is re­ally el­e­gant and low-key.”

All the same, you can spot her more flam­boy­ant in­flu­ence: the sun room is swathed with colour­ful Rubelli vel­vet and there is an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of art on the walls, in­clud­ing a George Condo paint­ing in the liv­ing room and a yel­low Rose­marie Trockel wool ta­pes­try that hangs on the din­ing room wall.

“We com­ple­ment each other pretty well, my hus­band and I: his pas­sion for in­te­ri­ors is like my pas­sion for fash­ion. He is re­ally, re­ally ob­sessed with it.” Other beau­ti­ful pieces in­clude a George Nakashima side­board, a Jean Prouvé daybed, and Hans Weg­ner chairs in the bath­room. A vin­tage Lars Holm­ström for Arvika chan­de­lier hangs above the din­ing room’s teak ta­ble and arm­chairs, de­signed by Pierre Jean­neret as part of the Chandi­garh project in In­dia.

Re­cently, Gio­vanna added “au­thor” to her CV, af­ter a chance en­counter with the pres­i­dent of Riz­zoli Pub­li­ca­tions sparked an idea for a cof­fee-ta­ble book doc­u­ment­ing her dress­ing-up ad­ven­tures. Gio_G­ra­phy: Fun In The Wild World Of Fash­ion of­fers quirky tips on how to pick your per­fect shade of red, or go to the loo in a ball gown, and re­flects her mis­chievous hu­mour. “Fash­ion is a vis­ual mes­sage you give out to the world,” Gio­vanna con­cludes. “It’s im­por­tant for your own spirit. If you feel down and you dress down, it’s not go­ing to go very well. Or you can wear some­thing that will cheer you up—a ring, a pearl earring, or a funky pair of shoes—and it’s a good an­ti­dote, a mood booster. Clothes are meant to be fun.”

Wool dress, Khaite. Vel­vet shoes, Tabitha Sim­mons.

Vin­tage Lars Holm­ström for Arvika chan­de­lier

Gio­vanna and Os­car bonded over books when they first met

Gio­vanna and Os­car’s wed­ding cush­ion in the bed­room

Gio­vanna at the ma­rina at the end of her gar­den Sa­teen dress, Emilia Wick­stead. Satin shoes, Manolo Blah­nik. A Chris­tian-Pon­tus An­der­s­son sculp­ture hangs above the stair­case

A daz­zling art piece

Gio­vanna bar­bie doll

Wool dress, Sara Battaglia. Tweed shoes, Tabitha Sim­mons. Top, F.R.S For Rest­less Sleep­ers A head­piece in Gio­vanna’s walk-in wardrobe Shoes, Manolo Blah­nik What bet­ter way to make a state­ment? Teak ta­ble and chairs in the din­ing room Gio_G­ra­phy: Fun In The Wild World Of Fash­ion by Gio­vanna Battaglia En­gel­bert (Riz­zoli) Jew­ellery in Gio­vanna’s wardrobe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.