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Fashion Forward...Natali G’s Editorial Debut!

by JC Alvarez
Thursday Dec 13, 2012

Within the warm, rustic setting of Joanne's Trattoria in New York City's Upper West Side, resides the bustling electricity of one of the fashion industry's aspiring talents. Natali Germanotta may be more familiar to "little monsters" the world over as the younger sister to pop icon Lady Gaga, but the fashion student currently enrolled at Parsons School of Design is carving her own path - appropriately stitching her own way to success.

On this particular winter's eve, Natali Germanotta is celebrating with family and friends the recent editorial spread featured in the online magazine Viral Fashion ( spotlighting Joanne's Trattoria, the Italian restaurant owned by her parents Joseph and Cynthia near Lincoln Center. "I should be doing my homework," she blushingly admits. "It's due tomorrow!"

But with the attention being given to the restaurant tonight and especially to her star-turn in the editorial piece, Natali comfortably meets and greets, alongside her parents, the guests into Joanne's for the special occasion, though clearly passionate about her immersive studies in creative design.

"You're always given a theme or genre," she begins describing her current assignment for a fashion line she is conceiving inspired by twisted fairy tales - that inspiration alone can lead you to think that the apple didn't fall far from the tree - "but that narrative could include a story from your past. You go with it...creating something that has a deep feeling." Inspired by big shapes and lush textures. Natali draws from references as classic as Givenchy or as contemporary as Issey Miyake. "I've been looking at a lot of his work from the 80's."

Born This Way

The structure and discipline of her fashion curriculum at Parsons are a welcome practice for Germanotta. "I like structure," she says. "I grew up that way." Having graduated from the prestigious Convent of the Sacred Heart Catholic School where she dutifully attended her studies, she found there wasn’t much room for art in those formative years. Natali would go home and was encouraged to be creative. "I grew up in a really warm and comforting environment. My parents and my sister are the world to me."

Still wide-eyed and excitable, the youngest of the two Germanotta’s is bustling with a drive that we’ve all come to recognize from the musically-inclined one of the two siblings; the one everyone else calls "Gaga" but who is big-sister "Stefani." It seems that this bristling ambition to create and be relevant is a familial trait...a genetic component and drive to be successful. "You have to take risks," Natali says with conviction. "It’s a human behavior."

Natali is attacking her designs with an intensity not unlike her sister’s own dominance of the music charts. "Who wouldn’t want to wear a piece of clothing that expressed how they felt." The signature appeal of conveying a narrative through fashion is a concept that she is always exploring, and although she hasn’t released her own fashion line at present, she envisions every step leading her towards full realization. "You can take your inspiration [in fashion] anyway that feels organic and comfortable to you."

Passion Forward

Admittedly, she says her own style is edgy - "I wear black." - and she’s moved by techno music, which she listens to often while working on her projects. Sensibilities perhaps derived from her connectivity to her native New York City. "It’s my home town and I’ll always have a comfort and love for New York," she says. "It has an eclectic versatility of people; there’s so many different kinds of cultures and not just because of fashion - but because of life, and economics and social and political standards." But she is well aware of the bigger world within reach, and having taken a bite of the big apple, Natali is hungry for more.

Vibrantly welcoming and attractive, but unaware of her sharply intelligent beauty - "Unless I’m smiling!" she says - Natali regards herself a "thinker" and is inspired by the quick escape and walks around the block that help to inspire her creativity. She envisions a boundless career for herself, and her art.

"I love costume design." Natali has been exposed to the famous theatrics of Lady Gaga currently on tour and on the Red Carpet, and could see herself designing to enhance a musical or Broadway experience, but doesn’t differentiate that approach from the worlds of haute couture fashion. "That’s what runway shows are for," she says. "It’s the opportunity to build this huge image. It’s always about building."

The idea of creating for the sake of controversy is also something that the young designer is not hesitant to court, but certainly won’t be the motivation for her design aesthetic or choices. "I think creating things that can be seen as controversial is important," she says. "I design without limitations. If it adds to my concept and theme it will be that way." Authenticity is at the forefront of her aspirations, and like her sister before her, she’ll have an audience waiting for every new reveal.

Certainly with every one of the changing seasons and weaving trends, we’ll be closely watching as a new Natali Germanotta emerges from sketch, to concept, to masterpiece.

See the full editorial story in Viral Fashion set in Joanne’s Trattoria (located at 70 West 68th Street, New York City) and featuring Natali Germanotta at

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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