Born in Rome, fashion stylist and image consultant Luca Falcioni graduated in Fashion Business before moving to London to start working for various luxury brands across the fashion spectrum. Luca has worked with an array of publications including Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Icon, L’Officiel, Flaunt, Numéro magazines and more. In 2019, Schön! Magazine appointed Luca as menswear fashion editor. Based in the Italy, Luca has previously served as fashion editor at Wonderland, Rollacoaster and Man About Town magazine.
How have you been keeping busy and creative during a challenging time in the world?
At the beginning of the pandemic I decided to leave London after 7 years and return to my country, Italy. In Rome, my hometown where I still am, I had to start all over again. I was initially discouraged because I thought I wouldn’t work for who knows how long, and instead, things went completely unexpectedly. Many publications and clients, knowing that I had moved to Italy, contacted me for countless projects. Since I returned, I have shot celebrities and top models for covers and fashion stories for magazines such as L’Officiel Italia, GQ Middle East, GQ Portugal, Schön and many others.
I have also worked on private projects for advertising campaigns, and I have dressed some Italian celebrities for different digital events. I have kept busy and creative by dedicating time to myself, spending more time in contact with nature and with my family, visiting the artistic beauties of the Eternal City, riding my bike by the seaside, meditating, reading and watching movies that have been on my watchlist for a very long time.
COVID-19 has hit and blocked the whole world for more than a year and a half now, but I am positive because I believe in the vaccine and that it will save us from this nightmare. We will return to live and appreciate the little things even more than before.
Have the events of 2020 going into 2021 influenced your work at all? How did you grow as an artist?
During this pandemic period I was able to understand how important technology is and how much it helps us every day. Despite the lockdown, we managed to stay in touch with the rest of the world and work at home rather than in the office with the well-known phenomenon of smart working.
For the first time, during this period, I have organised some photo shoots remotely. The organisation and the procedure are the same except for the fact that I was not physically present on the set. The two shoots I made in London from Italy were successful thanks to the help of my assistants who were on the set for me. Through a video call on Zoom, I was able to guide them and direct the shoot with the rest of the team. Obviously I prefer to be present during my projects, but during difficult times like this technology can take us very far!
Describe your creative process from idea to execution.
Each project I’ve done in my career is like a child, a creature of mine. Everything starts from nothing. Inspiration can come at any time and in any way. You can get inspired by a sound, colour, art, culture, nature — literally by everything.
Once Franca Sozzani said, “the organisation of fashion shoots is like putting together a puzzle without the figure on the box.” I completely agree with her. When the concept is formed, we work on the mood board which is the guiding tool of the entire project. The mood board deals with various themes: inspirations, the style of clothes, locations, the style of hair and makeup, etc. Another very important step is the formation of the team and the casting of the model/talent. Finding the people who can best represent your ideas is not an easy task. Fortunately, I have always worked with great professionals in the sector. I was able to get in touch and work with them after years of experience via social media or simply through word of mouth. My job is to extrapolate trends and enhance them through photographs. For each service I tell a story. Operationally, I put together all the things that inspired me to develop a theme, and I prepare the set for the photographer, with whom I decide the lights to use and the type of cut to give to the photos. The stylist chooses the garments and accessories that best suit the theme of the shoot, which will be borrowed from the fashion houses for the occasion. The fashion stylist is the style and image expert; they must be able to highlight a product line and propose it at all stages of the promotion. They must be able to interpret the soul of a dress and communicate it through an unmistakable style. Their work is very creative and attentive to trends, identifying a winning style and proposing a coordinated image throughout the collection, in order to guarantee its success. The final step is the set where all the magic happens.
What is your signature style that you try to incorporate into all your stories?
I am obsessed with rock music, and I am an eternal romantic, so the two best words which can describe my style are ‘rock chic’. I like to make the person I dress feel strong and confident, like a rockstar. Another side that attracts me are suits. I am sure that my Italian background has given vent to this passion. My grandfather was a very elegant Italian gentleman. The Italian people in general are romantic because of our unique culture in the world.
How has your styling evolved throughout the years in the industry?
Experience through the years has been my lighthouse that has guided me to where I am now. My work is all about balance, patience and persistence. Over the years I have learned from my mistakes and improved my skills by being on set and working with great professionals. At the beginning of my career, I had no contact with fashion houses as I was new to the industry. Working as a fashion editor for Wonderland, Rollacoaster and Man About Town was a great stepping stone. During that period I managed to create some of my contacts in the world of fashion through requesting clothes from the most famous fashion brands in the world for covers and fashion editorials, meetings with the most renowned showrooms in London and participating at fashion weeks around the world.
Since that time I have always continued to extend my contacts. Nowadays I manage to have access to all the most iconic and luxurious brands in the industry. The designers have changed and left the fashion houses to work for others, but my style has remained the same, integrating innovations and new trends that the fashion industry has launched over the years.
What do you look for when casting models for stories?
I choose the model, in agreement with the photographer and the magazine which I shoot for, according to the concept of the shooting. I always want to shoot the most iconic and trendy models/talents of the moment. During the model casting, I do research through different channels from Models.com to social media.
At the beginning, I was very attracted to beauty for the choice of the model, but with time and experience my way of thinking has changed. A model doesn’t just have to be beautiful. It’s not enough. A model must have a great communicativeness, a well-defined personality. When I have the time and the chance, I prefer to know the models in person. Having the opportunity to talk to them, I can interact to try to find out if there is also a “soul” in addition to a face.
What are the 5 items a guy needs in his closet right now?
5 of my favourite trends for this summer are: pastel coloured clothing, 1980s-inspired suiting, statement shirts, big and bold Bermuda shorts, ultra-wide trousers.
What brands do you have your eye on right now?
Right now I am really into Givenchy by Matthew Williams. The silhouette of Givenchy’s new course suggests a sartorial approach to the legendary French fashion house, while reflecting the modernism associated with Williams’ 1017 Alyx 9SM brand and its obsession with avant-garde craftsmanship. His aesthetic is very close to mine. I’ve shot a lot of his looks since he became creative director of the brand and I think he’s doing a really good job!
There are also on my radar: the gender fluid looks by Ludovic De Saint Sernin, the après-sport style and the luxury of Mediterranean aesthetics by Casablanca and the genderless jewellery by the talented Alan Crocetti.
What were the last pieces of clothing you bought yourself?
In a period dominated by home clothes and general dishevelment, the last pieces I bought for myself were cycling clothing. I have always had a passion for cycling, and this intensified during the lockdown period. Going on an adventure with the wind in your hair and sun in your face in the fields of the Roman countryside is a really effective way to switch off your mind and dedicate a moment to myself — without phone and emails!
Name some photographers with whom you would like to work.
I would love to work with Szilveszter Mako, Luke Gilfrod, Brett Lloyd, Marcus Cooper.
Do you have a muse? A model you would love to style?
It is always so difficult to name just a single muse. I have many in mind with different styles and from different eras, such as James Dean ,David Bowie, Prince, Audrey Hepburn, Marlyn Monroe, Cher, Grace Jones, Dennis Rodman, Anna Piaggi, Isabella Blow, Michele Lamy, Harry Styles, A$AP Rocky, just to name few. I would love to style the top model Louis Baines. I think he is gorgeous and chameleonic. He is able to adapt himself to different styles so naturally.
What was an unforgettable experience you had on set?
One of my most unforgettable experiences was when I shot the Haute Couture special cover story for L’Officiel Italia in Rome. In agreement with the magazine, we used the Eternal City as the stage for a high fashion play, rigorously made in Italy. As in the days of Hollywood on the Tiber: the period in the 1950s and 1960s when the Italian capital of Rome emerged as a major location for international filmmaking, attracting many foreign productions to the Cinecittá studios. In contrast to the native Italian film industry, these movies were made in English for global release. The model we chose for the cover story was the supermodel Leila Nda, who was able to fully enhance the beautiful and unique Haute Couture garments in the streets of Rome. It was a real tribute to my city and to the excellence of the Italian fashion. On set, the atmosphere was surreal — it was like being back in the days of the dolce vita. The iconic looks I pulled for this shoot were from Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Fendi and Alberta Ferretti. Just the best Italian couturiers. It was like living in a fairytale where princesses are real!
Do you allow yourself freedom to experiment on set, or are the looks pre-planned?
The ancient Romans used to say: “Carpe diem!” which means “seize the moment”. When I am on set, I get carried away by the moment. I always try to organise everything in a capillary way before the shoot, but there is never an end to the inspiration. Most of the time, the real strokes of genius happen when you’re on set. I love the fittings with the models or talent because it is in that moment that I realise whether or not to modify something. I also like to hear the ideas from my team so as to be able to create something unique and all together strong.
What is your favourite part of the creative process of styling a story?
Research is my favourite phase of the creative process of styling a story. The stylist thrives on constant visual research. From an early age, I have always been curious, and so I stayed. I think it helps me a lot with my work. I always keep up to date on the latest trends and collections through online platforms like Vogue Runway or TAGWALK, just to name few, or magazines. I like to discover new young talents in the fashion industry through social media and use their clothes / accessories for my stories.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into a career in fashion styling?
Be patient, and try to get as much experience as you can assisting other fashion stylists. Years of experience in the industry will open more doors than years of studying. It is also really important to develop strong networking skills and close personal and professional relationships. Last but not least, stay hungry! Keep yourself curious and up to date on different fields like the latest fashion shows, trends, art etc.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
As I mentioned earlier, my pandemic period has fortunately been very productive. My goal is certainly to keep working hard and creating dimensions through my photo shoots, where the readers can feel free to dream. In a period where we have been forced to remain closed at home and have no contact with others, if not digital, the imagination and creativity of the individual has been severely tested. With my fashion shoots, I tell a story, a moment, a feeling that allows those who look at it to become estranged from reality and live my dream. I always try to amaze the readers and the people who follow my work. In a world full of worries and problems, fantasy is the only medicine that can help us relieve pain.
Follow Luca Falcioni on Instagram.