Gilda Ambrosio

Gilda Ambrosio

Designer. Milan

By: Meagan Wilson
Styling: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

When you consider that what we do has evolved into a years-long exercise in exploring personal style, it only makes sense that, in the age of shoppable Instagrams and shop-the-runway-as-soon-as-the-designer-take-their-final-bow e-commerce, we've come to question the statement accessory. Or more specifically, its purpose. Is it a not-so-cheap and easy way to buy a little piece of mass-produced individuality? Do we sound like we're writing an undergrad thesis? Are we overthinking it, and it's just as simple as thinking a $500 inflatable purse is cute?

Then we met the likes of Gilda Ambrosio during Paris Fashion Week back when we first gave her the TC treatment, when we were left wondering what treasures her at-home Milanese closet could possibly hold if that was what she brought along for a handful of days of fashion shows, and while we were in town, we couldn't exactly keep ourselves from finding out. The answer? Well, it didn't exactly disappoint. Not even effing close.

Ambrosio's no stranger to the statement accessory—we could never say that of anyone who views the neon fur stole as a staple to stock up the same way us mere mortals would a white tee. But she's also the rare sort who manages to wear and pull off hot pink, glittery Saint Laurent ankle boots with the same ease and second skin feel that she does her massive boyfriend jeans and a vintage tee. She basically rolled out of bed before our early morning shoot, raked her fingers through the veritable curtain attached to her head she calls hair (no, seriously—she copped to it. “Styling my hair typically includes moving my fingers from the top to the bottom of my hair, shaking left and right, then combing quickly!" she laughed, as we tossed our Mason Pearson and sent angry texts to our hair stylists), threw on a pair of red cowboy boots and an oversized flannel and welcomed us in. It helps in part, that she favors intellectual, thinking woman's designers like Phoebe Philo, J.W. Anderson and Prada when it comes to her sartorial peacocking, of course; but we're pretty sure the real trick is Ambrosio's own advice: “Be yourself and life will repay you gently. The secret to style is not to fake it: wear or make something that you can and would wear. The hardest thing to do is feel comfortable in the wrong shoes."

... but hair like hers definitely doesn't hurt either, though. Just saying.