MALTA FASHION WEEK – A POST-MORTEM

MFWA-square
Photo credits to JCiappara Photography

Tomaselli’s Take

Another Malta Fashion Week comes to a close, and it’s time to draw up a clear balance about this event that, time and time again, is giving the Maltese fashion industry its yearly impetus.

Over the course of eight days between the 14th and 21st May 2016, several designers – both new and veteran – showcased their collections with the bastions of Fort St Angelo in Vittoriosa. Every artist took to the catwalk their fresh fashion concepts, framed by an enchanting location that brought the audience into a third dimension of dreams, art, history and future. Your Eve Event Reporter was at the front row to catch up with the new trends of the Maltese fashion scene.

We cannot but mention how masterfully organised the MFW 2016 was this year. Executive producer and founder of the Malta Fashion Week and Malta Fashion Awards, Adrian J Mizzi – together with his staff – kept their nose to the grindstone not only to make this event up-to-standard, but to also ensure that the audience is provided with a show that goes beyond the spectacular. The magnificent venue and the top-notch level of talent was undeniably constant throughout the whole week.

adrian-j-mizzi-featured-image

 

Socks and stockings were pulled up and hoisted with garters for this year’s show. It’s very evident that the designers rallied and invested all their worth this year to deliver a mesmerising show. I particularly liked the freshness and the passion that transpired through the new talents that took to the stage on the first day, and I was thoroughly impressed by Gabrielle Fenech‘s collection. This young lady had already shown us proof of her capacity last year, but this time round, she catapulted her capabilities after being inspired by the ghost town of Pripyat in Ukraine – the resting place of Chernobyl in 1986. Fenech’s women wore gas masks, getting the message of dehumanisation and the destruction of nature across like a red rag to a charging bull. Different materials were mixed together to elevate experimentation and symbolism.

gabrielle-fenech

Photo credits to Ivan Borg Photography.

 

Gaetano Busuttil‘s collection came as both a confirmation and a pleasant surprise to me. He’s a promising designer who won the title of Best New Designer in 2015. This year, he defined his identity and imposed his art through a solo show, presenting his latest collection, Nymph. This young man is certainly on the right path. Tailoring comes effortlessly to him, and the quality of his dresses is doubtless. His style has become recognisable and he gets the douze points of the Fashion contest. He’s raised his own bar, and so there’s now more room for experimentation, with perhaps a play on some sexy and romantic styles. Keep it up!

gaetano-photo-by-bernard-polidano

Photo credits to Bernard Polidano.

 

Whilst the fading sun on the horizon was playing with his colourful palette and the stone of the recently restored fort, Marco Parascandalo set the catwalk on fire with his new collection. His collection was possibly one of the most anticipated displays of this year’s event. Parascandalo availed with a live performance by the Crux to give a soundtrack to his show. His collection represents the merging point of all the shades of his personality. The pieces are firstly and predominantly black. From the bowels of the fort, men and women emerged, with Maltese social statements emblazoned on Parascandalo’s trademark black t-shirts and bermudas.

13248360_1338768189483868_7047793915515016400_o

Photo credits to Bernard Polidano.

 

This collection is urban. His clothing artwork is conceived for and from a city where people move freely and express themselves fearlessly. A note of Berliner grunge and a futuristic vision was exuded by hints of leather and studs. Sexy, avant-garde and dark, I believe that this collection can be interpreted as his iconic brand, where the statement is ‘Here I am and this is who I am’. It’s certain to sell like hot cakes.

13227825_1338767972817223_3359092167032832958_o

Photo credits to Bernard Polidano.

 

My personal congratulations also go to Ritienne Zammit. This young woman is a milestone of the Maltese fashion industry. This year, she’s confirmed her place on the podium. Talent, passion and a bit of foulness are concentrated in this volcanic curly-haired girl who’s not afraid to express herself and voice her opinion. The collection Je Suis is a definition of Zammit’s art, which tends to draw inspiration from the past to shape an idea which is straight placed in the present and projected in the future. Caravaggio and his obsession, the research of the chiaroscuro shaping the reality in the eternal duality of light and darkness, money and the idea that everything can be bought, the modern mural writings covering the traditional icons… All these transported the audience to a living museum, where the paintings came to life on the body-canvas of the models. I have a soft spot for her work and I strongly believe that Ritienne deserves success at a national – if not – an international level.

13217040_1340178642676156_8789585853969677098_o

Photo credits to Bernard Polidano.

 

Not to detract attention from the indigenous designers who so proved to be on track towards prominence, but I cannot help but mention the jewel of this year’s fashion week – Eymeric François. French haute couture takes us on a mentally stimulating journey through dark kimonos, lace and transparencies. Zips were put together to form a masterpiece which gave to the model a hypnotic power on the audience. Chapeau is all I can say!

13227624_1339279332766087_8508796749887738702_o

Photo credits to Jason Spiteri.

 

The final night brought to Fort St Angelo the Maltese jet set. Everyone who’s anyone was there. The venue once again played a very important role. Bars, cocktails, lights, heels… I saw a bit of everything: from the most glamorous dress directly from latest Chanel collection, from Manolo Blahnik shoes to heels which have probably been banned in at least 51 states in the world.

A really big well done goes to all the winners, and I must confess that I was expecting these results for the rest of the categories so it wasn’t much of a surprise to me. I’m also convinced that other people such as Dorianne Mamo, Mariel Sacco and others deserve a special mention for their stellar work. Here’s to more designers pushing themselves to the limit to achieve new thrilling goals.

13220767_1341055442588476_7586145915545961414_o

Photo credits to Benjamin Sant.