AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DESIGNER, FILIPPO GIORGI
'Sanctamuerte' designer, Filippo Giorgi agreed to sit down and give us an exclusive interview about his journey as a fashion designer and the processes behind his inaugural Autumn/Winter collection. The unconventional, avant-garde designs have been a huge success amongst the Arabella community and, personally, we can't get enough of them either!
What was your inspiration for the Autumn/Winter 2022 collection?
I felt really lucky designing this collection as I’m Italian and here in Italy, fashion is all around me. You can literally feel fashion everywhere so I feel like it makes my job so much easier as I'm always inspired. Living in Florence has been very beneficial as I am close to the fashion textile district so I can find everything that I want relatively easily. There's so many textiles and suppliers available that I have many people that can do print, embroidery and colour, so I count myself extremely lucky every day.
With 'Sanctamuerte' you can feel the inspiration in the name which is a mix from 'Sancta' which translated from Latin to English means 'Saint' and 'Muerte' which means 'Death' in English translated from Spanish. I really love these two words and the mix of the two languages, this could also be influenced by my boyfriend who's Dominican, so he speaks Spanish. ‘Sanctamuerte’ means sometimes in your life you have to die in order to be reborn. This is something that happened to me and I wanted to put this into my brand so that is why I named it this.
Could you talk me through your process of designing this collection?
I always have an idea in my mind, sometimes it is a bit of a foggy mess but I can always work through it and create something at the end of it all. The first thing that I do when starting a new collection is go to appointments with textile suppliers to view the range of materials and see what I would be working with, then I finally select the textile I want to work with. I then have to choose colours to work with. Sometimes I find colours I like straight away but most of the time I don’t unfortunately. So I have to sometimes get in contact with the supplier and see if they can create a textile in a certain colour I have in mind. I then would have to go and understand the dyeing process and overlook that as with different textiles it can differ. I then start to design and I work closely with a pattern designer which I count myself lucky about as he understands my creative vision and what designs I like for my collections. After this, we then make the first prototype design, sometimes it works other times it goes the complete other direction so we try it on a model and we alter the design if needed.
Have you always wanted to become a fashion designer?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. My whole family is from another world, they’re more focused in the economy so very different to what I went into! I was somewhat of the "Black Sheep" of the family. I remember playing with my sisters’ barbie dolls and realising that my first dream was to create clothing for consumers, and I did it! I started originally doing a 5 year economy placement as it was what my family wished but in the end my passion came out and I was really lucky as my family understood me and they trust me, and I went to ‘Polimoda’ a fashion school in Florence. I did a one-year internship at the Fashion Institute of New York. It was a really amazing experience.
What advise would you give to young aspiring fashion designers?
I would say you have to always believe in your dream and be prepared to have to fight for your place as a fashion designer as that's what I had to do. Going to a fashion school is incredibly important, but your passion and ideas are the most important thing. I think becoming a fashion designer is a gift you have inside of you. Make sure to do a lot of experience, when I finished my course in Polimode I started my first job in fast fashion and I was shocked by how different it is to school. When I finished school I thought I was the best fashion designer out there but I realised that that wasn’t the case! You have to make sure that you have one foot on the ground at all times in this industry. Designing is not only simply to design, it is always something more. During my time in this industry I’ve realised designing only takes up 20% of my time and the rest is going to the meetings with suppliers to understand the stitching and the prints. It’s not as easy as you may think it is and a lot of work goes into producing a fashion brand. Into finding a way to best show off your genius and your world.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I gain inspiration from everywhere. I’m a globetrotter, I love to find and discover new places and new people; I really love to stay with other cultures to discover new experiences. So first of all, I start by finding my inspiration here in Tuscany, I want my collection to be very influenced by Italy as all my textiles, manufactures and stitching is from Italy and it’s very important to me. But at the same time I want to mix and match the Italian and Tuscany designs with other cultures and designs I have seen and experienced outside of Italy. I love to also find inspiration from the past and do research on that. You may know the Medici family, they were a very influential family from Florence. I love to research them and their style in particular. I am very obsessed with them! I like to take their silhouette and incorporate that into my designs. I always look for fabrics that look similar and mould into them. I would say the inspiration that I gain is avant-garde retro, when you say avant-garde you think of Ecoance, Pal Offner or this kind of style and usually it’s all black. It is for me, I have a modern view of the silhouette and I’m really obsessed with oversized pieces. For me a women in an oversized piece is really sexy, I think a sheer piece is really great. I like Sanctamuerte on all bodies whether you have big boobs, small boobs, a more curvy figure or a slender figure. I love all body shapes on women and avant-garde means this to me.
Can you give us any hints as to what your next collection will look like and where the inspiration for that came from?
I don’t want to say too much but I’m finding a lot of inspiration from the UK, there is a design that I'm loving and I would like to create an Italian mould of this Old Vintage Elizabethan inspiration from London. I think for this collection I'm going to include more colour which is very different for Sanctamuerte as most of my designs are from natural colours. This is the first time I’m putting colour into one of my collections but I think I need to slowly introduce it in but it’s so hard!
Sanctamuerte is available online now to browse the Autumn/Winter 2022 collection and will be available in the approching Spring/Summer collection for 2023! We even managed to persuade Filippo to send over a sneak peek at the designs for the Autumn/Winter 2023 collection and we have to say they definitely don't disappoint!