Complete worship

Posted by admin | Complete worship,Jennifer Lawrence,Julia Roberts | | Sunday 3 March 2013 4:32 pm

Pippa on Alex
The thing about working with a sister is that language becomes obsolete, because you can explain in half-sentences that only they understand. We share a complete worship of colour, so Alex picked out the furniture, fabrics and paints for my shops in London and LA, and has made these beautiful paintings from Indian pigments. The jewellery hangs on miniature bronze trees that Alex designed. Our website is full of her animated watercolours; I find it vulgar to imagine jewellery just being presented for sale on a white background. We have a shared aesthetic history and philosophy; she can see exactly what’s right. When Tom Ford asked me to create a more organic style of jewellery for Gucci, Alex did all the sketches. I had a clear vision, and gathered together all my inspirations – sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy, tribal pieces, antiques – and Alex would translate it on to paper.

I was painfully shy as a child; I bred bantam chickens and collected rocks. Self-expression had to come visually not verbally, so I began stringing together my grandmother’s old beads, buttons and stones with holes in them to make bracelets. It looked like a crustacean was growing up my arm. Alex and I lived together in Fulham when I came to London to study anthropology at Goldsmiths. We were indivisible and had wonderful adventures travelling in India, Turkey and Morocco. Alex was the organiser; I just followed. After university I got involved with indigenous tribes in Borneo, Thailand and India and began making jewellery inspired by local communities. I sold a few pieces to friends back in England and the business slowly grew from there. I think Alex and I have lived vicariously through the other – Alex was married with children and I was travelling and growing the business. But you have these beautiful moments where you catch up with each other, where you can just be yourself, and a sister will forgive and understand.

Our parents

GIOVANNA AND SARA BATTAGLIA

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One is a fashion stylist, the other a handbag designer, but neither sister holds back when it comes to critiquing the other’s work. Interviews by Phong Luu.
Giovanna, 33, on Sara, 28
Our parents are painters. Our older brother, Antonio, owns an art gallery, and our younger brother, Luigi, is a designer – not one of us has a normal job. Sara always wanted to be a designer – you should see some of her sketches when she was five years old. We were both very artistic; we used to dress up our Barbies and even used our brother as a model! I wanted to be a stylist; back then it wasn’t a popular job. I got my lucky break by first modelling for Dolce & Gabbana – they called me their muse – and later styling.

When I’m shooting, I sometimes send Sara a picture, because I want to know what she thinks. And she’ll tell it straight. I’m the same. When she asks for my advice, I joke, ‘You know, some people pay me for this, and I’m giving it to you for free!’ I’m more fashion-forward than Sara. There have been times when she’s said, ‘Look at that horrible pair of shoes,’ and I’m like, ‘But they are so cool!’ I am given a lot of handbags; I shouldn’t say this, but I secretly carry her bags. When we were 16 we were terrible. I remember I once threw a suitcase out of the first floor after we had an argument – I could have killed her. But our mother said, ‘You can kill each other one day, but the next day you must be friends.’ We still argue now, but after two minutes we make up. We love each other; there’s just something about sisters.