INTERVIEW WITH DESIGNER MARIA CUTAJAR

Maria Cutajar is a Maltese designer with a high-end brand where all clothes are hand-made and designed by her. In 2014 Maria received a full scholarship to continue her studies at Accademia Italiana in Florence, and already in 2015, she was chosen to collaborate with Sharjah Businesswoman in Dubai to work together for her Collection ‘Coral Vibes’.

Maria Cutajar is currently building up her own brand and working as a part-time lecturer at MCAST, where she herself started her studies, in Garment Production. She has taken part in various fashion shows including Malta Fashion Week, Mid de Fleur Florence and also her own Event Forbidden Voices in aid of Domestic Violence. Maria Cutajar’s latest collection was last May called Dejjem F’qalbna for A/W 2019. In an interview with Eve, she says her first Malta Fashion Week is still her most precious.

Eve: What has been the highlight of the last five years?

Maria Cutajar: I started my first show during Malta Fashion Week in 2014, and I think I will always consider that moment as the highlight of the past years. It was my first big show, and I will never forget the goosebumps of coming out for the Passarella with the models and having the audience applauding.

Eve: Is there any type of fashion you cannot stand?

MC: This is a very tough question because fashion is very subjective, like any kind of art. But if I must be honest, one thing that I hate is when people don’t enhance their bodies. All shapes are beautiful, just be confident, and it’s important to accept one’s body shapes. I know that fashion is all about trends, but it doesn’t mean that if it’s in fashion it [automatically] suits. It could be that an outfit is not in trend that season but one still looks stunning.

Eve: Apart from your work, in what other ways is fashion an important part of your life?

MC: Fashion for me is not only in day wear or occasion wear. My passion started from theatre, and I’ve been a ballet dancer since the age of four. Fashion in theatre is more experimental and creative, but on the other hand its more difficult because one must think more about the function and practicality of the outfit. In dance and theatre, a lot of movement is involved, so different technical fabrics is used than street fashion.

Photo credit: Anthony Tomaselli / Eve. Cover photo credit: GO RAW – Gordon Formosa

Eve: For anyone starting off in this line of work, what would you suggest as the ideal starter kit?

MC: So, if I must be honest, the first thing that comes to my mind would be, save a lifetime stock of energy drink. Joking aside, fashion takes a lot of time from one’s life, so you must always be well prepared and full of passion.

The ideal kit first is to study sewing/ tailoring techniques to understand the structure of a garment, and of course studying design. Building up your career in this line is not easy, the important thing is not to give up and always learn from mistakes and move forward.

Further reading:

Review of up-and-coming designers, including Maria Cutajar, in Malta Fashion Week 2015