MILAN — In keeping with her flamboyant, colorful and joyful attitude, fashion stylist and consultant Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert couldn’t be holding anything else than a maxi feather pen at the book signing of her “Gio_Graphy: Fun in the Wild World of Fashion” on Tuesday night at Milan’s Armani/Libri bookstore.
“I’m a bit nervous and absolutely excited,” said Battaglia Engelbert in a quick interview at the Emporio Armani Caffè right before the book signing. “The store is already packed and it’s great to be in my city presenting my book to people who speak my language.”
Following the launch of an exclusive edition of the tome at Bergdorf Goodman during New York Fashion Week, “Gio_Graphy” is officially making its debut this month worldwide. The volume sold out in a night at the New York book signing and the same happened in Milan, where around 200 copies were bought by fans of the contemporary fashion icon.
“The idea of this book was originally pitched by Rizzoli New York publisher Charles Miers, who really liked my Gio’s Journal contributions in W Magazine,” said Battaglia Engelbert. “Of course, when they asked me to work on this, I immediately focused on images since the visual vocabulary has always been my language of expression.”
Instead of collecting pictures of her photo shoots — Battaglia Engelbert is senior fashion editor of Vogue Japan and contributing fashion editor of W Magazine — she preferred to create a collage of moments portraying her lifestyle and personal approach to fashion.
Organized in eight sections, the “Gio_Graphy” offers a range of style tips for occasions. “I wanted to keep the tone ironic and playful so I included things like ‘How to go to the bathroom while wearing a huge ballgown.” At the same time, there is also a collection of useful tips she got from her fashionable friends, including Carolina Herrera, Derek Blasberg, Hamish Bowles and Anna Dello Russo.
“It’s incredible to see the reaction of the public and when I presented the book in New York, I almost cried for the emotion,” said Battaglia Engelbert. “For example, there was a Mexican girl at the book signing who told me that she was preparing her collection for her fashion school and that her mood board was filled with pictures of both myself and my work. It’s pretty incredible to hear things like this.”
Asked about her favorite pictures in the book, she mentioned an image of her with her husband [Oscar Engelbert] taken during a vacation in Africa. “That picture was shot the day after he asked me to get married, so obviously it will always have a special place in my heart,” she said.
Battaglia Engelbert, who during New York Fashion Week teamed up with Bergdorf Goodman by creating eye-catching multicolor windows and installing a pop-up shop on the third floor of the New York-based department store, is hosting a book signing in Paris at Colette on Nov. 8.