Filippo Leone Maria Biraghi: ‘Chaos & Creation Editor in Chief’ at www.flamboyantmag.net, Buyer at 10 Corso Como and Teacher & Styling area Co-ordinator at IED Moda, he was my teacher in a class called ‘Fashion Culture’ where he shared his exhaustive knowledge about fashion from the 1900’s till today with the class, a true education for all fashion students. The ease with which he talks about the subject is fascinating and he is a true inspiration to anyone starting out in this field. I can honestly say that one can learn a lot from him, Thank you so much for this interview.
ADayinthelifeof: How did you start your career in fashion?
Filippo LM Biraghi: Out of a great passion and a bit of good luck: I had the opportunity to start working with Carla Sozzani just a few days before the 10 Corso Como store opening: I immediately quit university and started enjoying the pleasures and pains of fashion, doing everything that was required, from painting the walls to placing orders for the shop.
ADayinthelifeof: 5 words for a typical day in your life
Filippo LM Biraghi: Stylish, annoying, hectic, inspiring, unpredictable
ADayinthelifeof: What is the craziest thing that happened to you at work?
Filippo LM Biraghi: Too many to mention! Before mobile phones, I once found myself locked out from a shooting location in the middle of nowhere, at 5.00 in the morning, with a group of 15 people to manage (models, photographer, assistants, make-up artists etc.) and tons of clothes, because at the magazine I was working for, nobody bothered to ask for a permit to get in! Or the time when I had to do a shooting using real butchers as models: I had to cut all the clothes on the back because they did not fit them at all.
ADayinthelifeof: Name something that you cannot start your day without
Filippo LM Biraghi: News, coffee, cigarettes, a slice of toasted bread with jam and a few drops of Xanax.
ADayinthelifeof: Name 3 of the strangest things in your bag right now
Filippo LM Biraghi: ‘Strange’ is a very individual concept: all that’s in my bag is useful for my daily battle!
I always have a book to read with me, my insulin pen, some safety pins, glucose pills, queer lip balm and some sort of technological device (laptop, iPad or whatever). And I’ve just found a spare fingerless glove…
ADayinthelifeof: Your style is largely based on punk. Can you tell us why?
Filippo LM Biraghi: Most of my visual references are drawn from that period. Punk has been the most groundbreaking youth subculture since the 60’s and nothing like that ever happened again: it is about non-conformity, provocation, freedom to make mistakes and most of all is about not being orthodox. And also, the DIY, mix’n’match approach of punk is the real starting point of the styling job. I love ‘britishness’ and what’s more British than punk and the Queen?
ADayinthelifeof: I noticed that you always wear a pearl necklace. Does this have any special significance?
Filippo LM Biraghi: My mother gave that necklace to me when I turned 30, saying ‘You’re an adult now, you ought to have a pearl necklace’: it was so hilarious! My pearls are an essential part of the ‘look’ I try to pursue every day: the ‘aristopunk’. Some kind of royalty and anarchy joint together… I love contradictions.
ADayinthelifeof: If you were given the chance to spend the day with a famous designer who would you choose? Why?
Filippo LM Biraghi: None of them! I really love clothes, maybe even more than people. I respect and admire the work of many fashion designers, but I learned from experience that you should keep your idols at a good distance: if you get too close you discover their ‘humanity’, and people involved in fashion are often not the nicest human beings… I already had the chance of meeting some very famous designers, and I have to say that Jeremy Scott has been a real laugh: an amazing guy!
ADayinthelifeof: How did you end up teaching at IED?
Filippo LM Biraghi: Because I have been asked to! I am glad it happened because it’s very inspiring meeting young people with a passion for fashion, willing to know what I have learnt in my career. And I found out that I am pretty good too…
ADayinthelifeof: Can you give some indispensable advice for fashion students, especially stylists?
Filippo LM Biraghi: Keep your eyes wide open. Whenever you make an ‘aesthetic decision’ always ask yourself ‘why?’ and crave culture. And never, ever take yourself too seriously…