Friday, September 25, 2009

Women of Great Style: La Bella Giovanna!

I decided to start doing posts on my fashion inspirations.

Last year my friend (and roommate) AWC and I started a game where we'd figure out a look that we wanted to imitate and then make it happen by "shopping our closet" and coming up with the best replication of said outfit within a specified period of time (it was like a race). Yes, we're weird, but it was fun. A mental diversion I want to set about imitating the style of my favorite fashion inspirations. Autumn, with the opportunity for so many layers, is the perfect time to begin this game.

So, my first inspiration is Giovanna Battaglia, fashion editor at L'Uomo Vogue.

She's a favorite subject of The Sartorialist and for good reason. She's a former model and wears everything well, but she's not merely a human hanger. She has a keen eye for key pieces, a creative spin on assembling outfits, and a strong sense for special touches that *pop*. Here are some great shots of Giovanna:

Giovanna (at left) and friend:

What's RIGHT about this look:
  • HER SHOES. The slight heel elongates her legs without being aggressively sexy. The incorporation of the ankle strap adds the innocence of a mary-jane to her look, but the ankle strap's context within this particular shoe makes it very sexy.
  • HER RUFFLED SKIRT. One row of ruffles might make for a boring schoolgirl-cliche skirt, but this silhouette is sophisticated while still being flirty and fun.
  • THE EARTH-TONE COLOR PALETTE. Seeing the gray in a black and white world!
  • TEXTURE! Mixing fabrics is Giovanna's true art.
The Sartorialist's girlfriend, Garance Dore, an excellent fashion blogger in her own right, took THIS adorable photo of Giovanna in the same outfit:

I have mentioned several times before that I simply don't wear pants. That's not to say that I've NEVER worn them in my life. But honestly, they're just not the right thing for me until I lose a bit of extra weight and feel comfortable flaunting my figure in trousers.
Giovanna has a definite trouser-perfect body, and she wears them with elan:

What's RIGHT about this look:
  • THE CONTRAST. Simple gray turtleneck, no color save for a touch of forest green and lilac in her scarf, and then BAM! YELLOW!
  • HER SHOES. She keeps the yellow theme going down to her shoes. The pants are cropped, which adds to the whimsicality of the color choice. She could easily stunt her pretty, vertical look with a contrasting color of shoes (imagine: black or brown) but she wisely keeps it cool with yellow.
  • HER CONTROL. Knowing how much of a statement piece the yellow pants are, she keeps everything else simple and classic. You can easily imagine Grace Kelly donning the top part of Giovanna's outfit in 1960s Monaco.

What's RIGHT about this look:
  • BLACK with NAVY BLUE. End of story. So many people are afraid to mix these colors, but they look great together.
  • POLKA DOTS. In my opinion, if they're tiny (like the French petit-pois: tiny peas), you can never have enough of polka dots. In fact, I plan to purchase some polka dot tights this Autumn.

"When a girl feels that she's perfectly groomed and dressed she can forget that part of her.
The more parts of yourself you can afford to forget, the more charm you have."

(F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" via Women's Wardrobe)

She's so comfortable in her own skin. Beautiful but refined, free but sophisticated, living her life on the go but always looking like a perfect princess. Isn't that SO charming?


Kelly said...

Love these types of posts, Christine. Giovanna is wonderful! And while I love Sart & Garance, they never really address the outfits they photograph in words. So I love what you're doing. Keep 'em coming.

Sharon said...

I love this! You have it so right with everything you said. Giovanna is one of those elusive beauties who just knows how to always dress to perfection and also take risk. I love her. Fun fun fun!

ms. mindless said...

how fun. keep it up!

MCW said...

She is so chic. Wish I could pull off her outfits.

Black Labs and Lilly said...

Such wonderful style! I love the idea of tiny polka dots, a perfect design for decorating legs this fall and winter.

Kate said...

I love her style! I wish I looked that put together!