In her oversized vintage Lanvin glasses and gothic Edwardian uniform, Galia says it is a Parisian syndrome to never want to leave Paris once you hit thirty – everything you could need is there. As comfortable in the City of Light as she is in her Yohji Yamamoto jackets, Galia is twenty-nine and feels as if she’s hitting that time when she wants to stay there forever. Living among the past is something that Galia covets, whether it’s wearing tall boots that resemble something worn by an Elizabethan man, being surrounded by her voluminous amounts of romantic literature, her hand-painted furniture from her ancestors, or the warmth of the sixteenth century beams that make you feel connected to the past and are everywhere around her, from the ceilings to the stairways. Of Paris, Galia says there is always something to see in a museum, there’s always people to see in a café and, something I envy so deeply as a frenetic New Yorker, time to do nothing. “I love these wasted hours. You have no obligations, you can be among the amazing spaces that we have here, surrounded by these beautiful things.”
Extreme emotions are what define Galia, whether they’re found in the books that she reads, like the nineteenth century French poets, or in the way she only wears clothes until they are destroyed. She finds sadness more beautiful than joy, particularly loss and longing for things. She has loved the restless and volatile poet Rimbaud since she was thirteen years old and shares a passion for Ann Demeulemeester, one of her favorite designers who is Belgian, like her mother. More interested in the body of work of certain designers than trends, much of Demeulemeester’s collections, especially menswear, are very influenced by the silhouette of the nineteenth century poets, Galia points out. She has had an affinity for men’s clothes since she was obsessed with the middle ages, The Knights of the Round Table and mythology in general as a kid, which is evident in her Rick Owens paladin tunic. Her friends say that her life is led like the narrative of a story and Galia affirms that she is so moody that her clothes need to have some kind of cohesion with her state of mind yet remain within the confines of the all-black uniform that she adheres to as an “intellectual minimalist.”
One of Galia’s aunts is a writer and documentary filmmaker fascinated by the unraveling of memory or the archeology of the contemporary world, which reminds me of this site. Galia has a tattoo on her wrist that is the last phrase and all that she can remember of a love letter that she once received but lost. Another is the word ‘hunger’ with a heart, which is meant to be associated with the German meaning of the word ‘love’ and is taken from a poem by the female poet Ingeborg Bachman. Could it be that tattoos are the new manifestation of generation Y’s thirst for individuality?