Malta Fashion Week: Sai Suman | Julia Boikova | Parascandalo Marco

For Day 4 of Malta Fashion Week, the Chamber of Commerce hosted not 2 but 3 designers, one of them being none other than Parascandalo Marco, whose first show took place last year during the New Designers show. Joining his ranks were Julia Boikova (from Estonia), and Sai Suman (from India). All of them brought something new and different to the table, and though not everyone will agree on personal favourites and styles, it is fair to say that it is refreshing that creatives push the boundaries. After all, if one is afraid to do so, then one cannot be truly creative.

The first show was by Sai Suman whose collection ‘The Exotic Jungle’ presented a mixture of ready-to-wear and couture pieces. We were welcomed by a panoply of colours, predominantly greens, yellows, and hues of red and pink to mimic the natural colours of the jungle and foliage. To a certain extent, the pieces did not all seem to make up a cohesive story at first but looking at the photos I located aspects of the theme, even if some of the patterns were very different from one another. I quite liked the blue gown (though it might not have fit in with the rest of the colours) as it reminds me of the magical realism of the forest and A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Another one I was partial to was the serpentine-inspired dress and its streamlined shape. The bejeweled red-laced gown was also impressive though I stay away from wearing that type of red and lace (especially together). All in all Suman’s pieces are rooted in Indian tradition, and although some might have had reservations about the caged structures and the animal additions, it was a visceral collection.

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The second collection, Ropes and Dots was Julia Boikova’s take on the sportive-meets-feminine theme. I thought it was a good idea to have some fun and more casual pieces, such as the sporty two-piece with the shorts. Personally, I would much rather prefer wearing one of the rope-motif dresses, but overall the vision of dots and stripes blended in with striking imagination. The mixture of colours was also inventive, and the easy-to-wear element is definitely achieved with Julia’s work. The choice of placing the rope motif at different angles was an appropriate one, given that it adds to a trompe l’oeil effect in some. My go-to dresses would be the structured and fluid dresses, particularly the ones in the last collage (those who know me know how much I love a tailored, structured dress).

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For the collection entitled ‘In the Sky’, there was a pulsating buzz to find out what Parascandalo Marco had come up with this time. From a fledgling testing the waters last year during the New Designers show, Marco has risen and has become a household name, carving a niche of his own and calling out to a specific clientele; many knew back then that Marco was one to watch. His predominantly white collection this time round (a stark contrast to one that was all black) was fresh as it was irreverent. I cannot resist a well-made crisp white shirt or sheer fabrics with a flowing texture, as they both remind me of the lazy summer days in the chicest resort and the debonair lifestyle, such as sipping a Bellini at dusk somewhere in Capri. The interesting part is that some pieces that one would associate with women are as equally doable for men. But that’s talent, and Marco has succeeded in rendering the idea of men wearing culottes and kimonos perfectly kosher. Other favourites of mine were the patched denim bag and the grey fringed top. And by the way, the slogan Skandlu is still bouncing off the tees, but with an additional tattoed bird motif, and now also in boxer version – I told you, irreverence is the name of the game for Parascandalo Marco!

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Parascandalo Marco (far right)

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Today’s photos are courtesy of Mark Soler; if you like his work, check out his website:




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