Grand Designs

For W’s glamorous globetrotter Giovanna Battaglia, it’s a fab, fab world.

Villa Aurelia

“The Villa Aurelia is a gorgeous 17th-century mansion owned by the American Academy in Rome. I was doing a shoot there and wandering around looking for good locations, when I found this beautiful empty room. There was no furniture, so I decided to sit in the fireplace. I thought, If I concentrate hard enough in a meditative state, maybe this house can be mine.”


“The bathroom at the Met’s annual Costume Institute Gala is a party unto itself. Everyone hangs out there chatting, like Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne, Nicole Richie, Georgina Chapman, Stella McCartney, and Marion Cotillard. At one point, Cara said, ‘Someone needs to take a picture of this madness.’ So I did!”


“I was at Depuis 1924, a vintage store in New York, looking for pieces for work, and, of course, I ended up finding something for myself. It was love at first sight with this Chanel bag from the ’90s. Its heart shape makes me think of a beautiful fashion emoticon.”


“The Small restaurant in Milan is full of eccentric stuff, like this Urban Solid sculpture. When I passed it on my way to the restroom, I thought it was a vase, until I realized it was a man in a toilet. I wondered, Will I come out covered in gold too?”


“While on a shoot, I received a special Comme des Garçons delivery from a girl who had the coolest hair—it matched the Comme des Garçons heart on her shirt. That is commitment to an outfit! Everyone should start matching their hair color to their clothes.”


“At the Frieze art fair in New York, I saw this piece, 1961 [2002–ongoing], to which the artist, Zoe Leonard, adds a piece of luggage every year. This is what my life would’ve looked like if I had been a stylist in the ’60s!”


“I was having dinner with my photographer-artist friend Micol Sabbadani at the Small, in Milan, and we were the last ones left. The staff started stacking the chairs on the tables; it looked like a Dadaist painting. I asked Micol to hold up a sign we found there that reads i want more space for art, because don’t we all?”


“These Swarovski-covered Alexander McQueen beauties are the coolest boots for fall. They’re like jewelry for your feet. And when you’re not wearing them, you can hang them from the ceiling and let them do double duty as a disco ball. They’re the ultimate party shoes.”