Photographs by Daria Kobayashi Rich
Styling by Chris Horan
Coming from a line of cinematic royalty could disillusion some, but for writer, director, and photographer Gia Coppola, her family’s force has spurred her on to create works that distinguish her in her own right.
She is, of course, the granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather) and the niece of Roman and Sofia Coppola—the siblings responsible for Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited, and The Virgin Suicides among others. It is Gia’s unique eye, however, that has cemented her as a master of multiple crafts, rendering the family name an interesting fact rather than a route in to the world of film. “I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by such inspiring people,” she tells me. “But I work very hard to also do things because of my own merit.”
Palo Alto’s emphasis on beautiful cinematography was no doubt helped by Gia’s background in photography—she studied at the prestigious Bard College in New York before her foray into film. “I find that both mediums [moving image and photography] complement each other well. I always learn something when I do photography, or I use it as a test to play around with themes and ideas that interest me."
Today her medium-format photographs regularly grace the pages of magazines, with a distinctively rich color palette and an intimacy that gives a real sense of her relationship with her subjects (recent models include Florence Welch and Margot Robbie).
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Gia’s fondness for California and bond with the physicality of her home seeps into her images—be they dreamlike shots of girls in ethereal dresses picnicking in Joshua Tree or the more documentary-style snaps of Chateau Marmont during rush hour. “I love the nature and the history behind the city [Los Angeles]. I’ve become very fascinated with the “idea” of Hollywood and what that means.
This focus on fantasy and imagination is clear in Gia’s work. She incorporates high-end luxury fashion into images and film with an attitude of sweet innocence that makes the pieces featured feel more like costumes than new-season items a brand is desperately trying to sell.
Now 31, Gia has watched the industry grow into the influence-driven, content-obsessed world we now find ourselves in. “I’m very interested in the influence social media has on our culture’s taste, education, politics, etc. I worry about it, and I wonder how can we take this new world and make it cinematic and connective again.“
But really, that’s exactly what she does with her own work. As we hurtle toward a future where more and more of what we watch is designed to be watched on an iPhone screen, there are certain artists who create things that we feel like we can really dive into, rather than just hold in our hands. Gia Coppola is one of them.
Makeup: Tamah Krinsky
Hair: Danny Rishoff
Casting: Jen Jalouse
All Jewelry: Tiffany & Co
Photo Assistant: David Lopez
Stylist Assistants: Tyler Cunningham and Alizée Hénot