Tete a Tat With Fabrizio Casiraghi
24th March 2023
Madeleine Castaing once asserted that we must 'be audacious, but with taste', something that this week's interviewee encapsulates perfectly. Fabrizio Casiraghi has wowed the world of interiors with his projects, each one more exciting than the last. Whether your tastes sway towards modern, traditional, retro or maximalism, Casiraghi's impressive balancing act has something for us all.
Originally Casiraghi studied urban architecture, working for Dominique Perrault – the architect who designed the François Mitterrand Library in Paris. This was until he spent time volunteering at the iconic Villa Necchi in Milan. In an interview with House & Garden, he described the importance of this formative experience for him: '"When I spent time at Villa Necchi," he explains, "I realised that my true love was interiors. I loved all the details–the handles, the curtains and so on–and so I decided to switch paths." With a new passion aflame, he was lucky to find a willing patron in the form of Julien Desselle, the founder of Desselle Partners and one of the leading agents for architects and designers. He enlisted the talents of Casiraghi to turn his new property, a one-time fisherman's lodging, into his Venetian retreat.
Desselle is clearly a patron that many young designers need, someone who provides belief in their talents and creative freedom, as well as the necessary pressure of exacting personal taste. As Desselle puts it in the article in New York Times, “It was a leap of faith and a little bit of a test, choosing Fabrizio, but I sensed that he could create a place unlike anything else in Venice”. And so he did. When this project was featured in The New York Times in 2017 it caused waves of delight, as I can attest to, as I happily partook in the Mexican wave of Instagram posting.
Since then, Casiraghi's portfolio has gone from strength to strength. He has designed hotels and restaurants all over the globe, stores for the likes of Kenzo, and a bevy of extraordinary residential projects that most of us give our eye teeth to move into. I've long admired Casiraghi's work, so it was with trepidation that I asked if he'd be willing to participate in Tete a Tat. I was thrilled when he agreed.
Any good advice? Who gave it to you?
Especially in my line of work, my mother always gave me the advice to create the perfect balance between comfort and elegance.
Da Giacomo in Milan
What is the best gift you have been given?
My most significant gift was an English dining table from the end of the 1800s that was given to me by my parents for my very first apartment in Milan.
What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of it?
My go-to movie remains « In the mood for love » by Wong Kar-wai .
Friday (evening !)
What is your favourite Piece of Clothing?
My Friulane shoes, my second skin, during the summer.
If you could share a meal with any four individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
I would love to share a last meal with the writer James Joyce, Winston Churchill, the painter Bernard Boutet de Monvel and my grandmother.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to work in politics.
I’m most fond of the smell of church incense.
What would your autobiography be called?
I don't think an autobiography on my life would be most interesting at the moment; I’m not Winston Churchill … and probably will never be.
Are you a morning or a night person?
Definitely a night person
What song can always make your foot tap?
Do-re-mi from the Sound of music will always make me dance.