Going first in anything can be stressful and demanding. Doing so in front of a crowd that has been waiting for Fashion Week to kick off adds more to the pressure. So when Rosemarie Abela had to open this week-long event, one can only imagine the excitement brewing. What came out on the catwalk were not just clothes and a well-executed collection. One word underlies all the work put in and the performance: Confidence. I felt it as the models walked down gracefully on the one hand or in striding movements on the other hand; I felt it as the models seemed to relish wearing certain gowns, particularly the full skirts that filled up with the breeze; and mostly, I felt it when the designer herself came onto the catwalk with a smile that knew she had done well.
So what worked well in this collection? I am all for pushing the envelope but I guess it is also a good idea to stick to what one knows best. What Rosemarie did was choose a palette of neutral colours but before one thinks that this was ‘safe’, one has to also consider the choice of materials. What did the trick were the traditional touches of gold and tassels, which remind me of a bygone era. Bringing back the traditional is not merely a sign of nostalgia but one of respect for something that we are fast losing with the globalisation of the clothing market. It must be added that Abela was inspired by the Mosta Dome, hence Cupola, and this seals the idea that it is a return to the local heritage. Brava, Rosemarie, for giving us wearable yet classic fashion with a message!