By Alison Syrett Cleary
Updated Aug 11, 2017 @ 11:00 am
Mariacarla Boscono Bechamel Sauce
Credit: Melodie Jeng/Getty

If you ever want to impress a fashion aficionado, mention Mariacarla Boscono. One of the industry’s busiest models since the mid-'90s, she's netted over two decades worth of high-profile gigs—including posing for multiple Pirelli calendars and Givenchy campaigns, starring as the face of the skincare brand Borghese, and, most recently, walking the Chanel couture show—all while keeping her personal goings-ons remarkably under the radar. In short: Everyone's seen Boscono's face, but only insiders can give it a name.

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“Well, I’m public ... but I’m not public,” Boscono, who lives in her native Rome with 5-year-old daughter Marialucas, said in an interview for InStyle'sSeptember issue. “I love working, but going out to events is not really fun for me.” Boscono would much rather spend her free time in the company of close friends like designer Riccardo Tisci, whom she's known since he was a student at Central Saint Martins, and family.

Her other favorite pastime? True to her Italian roots, cooking. Boscono's specialty is lasagna, which she makes with extra-thin noodles and homemade béchamel sauce. “I put it on everything! I hate deprivation, and I’ve never been on a diet my whole life.”

Mariacarla - Bechamel Sauce
Credit: Melodie Jeng/Getty

Unsurprisingly, Boscono has an equally relaxed approach to personal style. "I would describe it as 'urban romantic,' " the runway star, who's frequently booked for her dark, Gothic sensibility, says. "I'll wear gym clothes and then throw a vintage chiffon dress on top." Not that she has the final word on style in the house: "I used to dress Marialucas in all neutrals, and of course all she wanted was pink. I was like, ‘You are going to destroy your mom!’ But if she wants to make me happy, she’ll choose a black dress.”

For more from Mariacarla Boscono, pick up InStyle’s September issue, on newsstands and available for digital download Aug. 11.