One of the alluring and fascinating aspects of fashion shows in Malta is the choice of location. Time and time again, this tiny dot of an island has proven its worth in terms of scouting for settings as magnificent as the designs or collections during said shows. On Saturday 23rd July this was no exception as Pjazza San Gorg in Valletta was the red-carpet choice for the Gran Gala della Moda. This anticipated event played out on a not so humid event to the relief of the guests who, whether local or international, came out in droves and dressed to the nines. And in Italian style, at 9pm sharp the night kicked off with 3 talented couturiers.
It must be noted that this was the first event held by the Chamber of Fashion Malta, and I must say, it was executed very well. From the viewpoint of a blogger and attendee, I could only imagine the frenetic activity behind the scenes backstage, but as one model sashayed after another, it was a marvel to behold such good timing and everyone looking sharp. The music and seating were also very strategically chosen and placed respectively, so all in all, kudos to the organisers and team behind the event, namely Dr Juliana Scerri Ferrante, Caroline Paris, and Dorianne Mamo, if only to mention a few. Add to that the models, makeup artists (using PUPA products), hair stylists (by Screen), and all those involved in some way or another, to present not only a fashion show, but also a cultural event.
Up first was the renowned Italian designer Gianni Molaro, whose captivating couture gowns caused a ripple. At first I did not understand why there was such diversity of styles in the pieces, given that I believe a collection has to tell a story and be seamless in doing so. Then it transpired that the gowns were chosen from a number of collections spanning his career. In this case it made sense as one could almost, in hindsight, consider his journeys in fashion. What stood out mostly was the empowerment of women through fashion and couture, and in this case, Molaro succeeded no matter the collection. Here are my favourite pieces:
The second collection was highly anticipated among the crowd, and with good reason: the Gozitan designer Luke Azzopardi, who has, by now, proven his mettle in fashion and has become synonymous with reliability in fashion prowess and couture. It has to be stressed at this point that Malta does need to have couturiers, and Azzopardi fits the bill as he merges the traditional and the contemporary in his designs. Who can forget the luxurious show put together at the Hagar Qim Temples last summer, as well as the cabinet of curiosities held some time ago in Valletta to launch his latest collection, The Opium Addict? In the case of the latter, I was lucky to witness his creations once again, as they were showcased during the Gala. Albeit being part of the same collection, the pieces chosen for the fashion show took a different life as models walked the runway instead of being part of a tableau. Here are my favourites:
Then it was Carlo Alberto Terranova’s turn, another Italian designer who is known around the AltaRoma fashion circles due to his work for Sarli. As soon as the models came out one by one, it was as though we had gone back in time, to a period when tailored clothes were de rigeur, and when women in Italy dressed up for the classic passeggiata. Personally, it reminded me of my mum’s Harper Bazaar and Vogue magazines of the 70s and 90s. This leads to an important aspect of fashion, a nostalgia for the past, which is somehow brought back to life through artistic designs. Although it is not reinventing the wheel, fashion like this reconnects us to something that we hold dear, that takes us back to important roots. That is why I enjoyed Terranova’s show during the Gala, for the experience imparted by his clothes. Here are some highlights and the pieces I can see myself wearing (well, except the bridal gown of course, but I add it here nonetheless as it is an amazing creation)…
Credit: Photos by Bernard Polidano