When you think about designers’ collections, a number of things need to be considered. First of all, the concept should be interesting, creative, and potentially new. The colours, materials, and textures have to be chosen with a vision in mind. To distinguish between a designer and a tailor is equally important, because it is not enough to sew clothes or create looks that might be basic and easily available in high street stores. If anything, it is the reverse in that the latter end up drawing inspiration from designers, if only to make fashion more accessible.
Maria Cutajar, who had debuted in the New Designers, went all the way to have her very own slot in Malta Fashion Week 2017. Entitled Boho Goddess, this collection is meant to draw inspiration from the type of bohemian lifestyle that impoverished artists had to scrape through in the name of art. Think Moulin Rouge meeting Frida Kahlo. The vision apparently seemed to be a message of hope for the inner artist to shine despite the amalgamation of consumerism, greed, and selfishness that seem to plague our age. In her pieces, I read a return to simpler, less assuming lines that are then complemented by the more sumptuous colours redolent of the dark, almost secretive salon rooms frequented by aforementioned artists in the late 1800s.
So the question is, does this vision work for a fashion show? Are the pieces strong enough? Even though I was interested in the colours and cuts of some pieces, such as the culottes and lace-up pieces, I was not too convinced by woollen additions, particularly the crop top on top of that darker brown piece in the penultimate photo. They can come across as mumsy, despite the rich colours. I am also not sure what the purpose of the detailing on the brown dress (in the fourth photo) is, while the cut of the dress (second photo) could be slightly unforgiving on many a busty woman. Overall, I do appreciate different colours being offered which somehow make it refreshing to watch. Whether it will successfully ’empower the inner beauty of a woman’ (as quoted from the fashion week guide) will then depend on how that woman carries off such pieces. Then, perhaps, ’empower’ was not the right word to begin with. After all, it is but a question of taste and temperament, so probably what it does do is ‘heighten’ women’s appearance, whether it is meant to be bohemian or not.