In favour of fashion

Malta Fashion Week offered a vital opportunity for our creatives to express themselves.
Fashion stylist and content creator Caroline Paris with designers Charles & Ron. Photo: Kurt Paris

As someone who arduously follows many international sites focusing on fashion, it’s hard to avoid seeing articles floating around every few months questioning if fashion week is dead and whether or not a new platform to showcase creativity should emerge from its ashes. However, after attending Malta Fashion Week just a few days ago, I can clearly state that not only is fashion week still needed, but it is vital for our creatives to be given the space to express themselves.

One of the most significant criticisms levelled at fashion houses is how unsustainable they are, so it was extremely gratifying to see newcomer Rachael Bartolo of Tolo collaborate with local NGO Żibel and use repurposed trawling nets, and other remains for her well-crafted pieces.

With everything from trailing skirts to imposing dresses, the Captured collection was an excellent example of how even the worthless can look magical in the right hands. Without fashion week as a backdrop, we would have never had the opportunity to witness creativity at this level.

Marco Parascandalo of Parascandalo, who needs no introduction, has similarly been integrating the no-waste concept in his designs for a few years now, and in fact, 80% of the collection that he showed this fashion was made from recycled and repurposed materials. I particularly loved his denim fringed pieces crafted out of hundreds of different pieces of discarded denim to almost look like sculptures on models’ bodies.

He even brought a little extra drama to his show by transforming a long wedding dress into a shorter version mid-runway. Moments like these make you fall in love with fashion week all over again.

For the ultimate in glamour, both Charles & Ron and newcomer Sultana brought the glitter and razzle-dazzle to the yard. Charles & Ron with their memorable statement pieces using every gorgeous shade of blue and purple in existence, and Carlton Agius at Sultana giving us a masterclass in Mediterranean luxe with his statement earrings in the shape of eyes and thick gold chains with twisted horns attached to them.

Yana Anastasi of Yana’s Jewellery also pulled out all the stops with her Aluna collection, which showcased many unforgettable, intricate pieces in greens, golds, and earth tones inspired by a trip to the magical Serengeti.

If there’s anything that living through the black hole that was the pandemic taught me, it’s the fragility of all the good things that make life truly worth living. Every year I look forward to fashion week, and although I’m always physically exhausted by the end of it, I feel mentally energised by many of the things I see. Fashion is not just a vapid and pretentious pastime; it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to send their unique messages of love, loss, and everything in between into the world. Done right, it can transform us. What can save the world if not beauty?

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