It is said that you cannot buy luxury without offloading truckloads of cash. Yet, one can have the luxury of being able to spend without a thought in the world but who is to say that that would guarantee style and finesse? Ergo, you do not need all the money in the world to look good. I follow many Instagram accounts where the style is achingly polished but so is the price tag. Now let’s face it, it is all well and good to luxuriate in good photos taken of very expensive attire worn by social media influencers, but for the majority of people, owning such type of clothing is as unrealistic as Malta is of ever winning the World Cup. It becomes harder to identify with people who are almost goddesses, who have become iconic but are not really role models anymore. With the rise and rise of high street, however, it has become easier to emulate or at least look decent without going overboard in the credit card department. Then again, as discussed in one of my magazine articles (see Press section), I am not promoting a culture of fast shopping if it can be helped, nor am I condoning the true cost of disposable fashion. I make a distinction between high street buys that are of good quality and those that will fall apart after a few washes.
A few weeks ago (or was it months?) I read a couple of articles on different local newspapers about luxury goods. I got the impression that the articles were suggesting that in order to be recognised, respected, or valued today, one has to be dripping in such goods. To me, that spells a deprecating and condescending attitude, and the tone came off as arrogant and classist. If you can afford designer brands, then good for you. However, most people are interested in styling what they have, and in such cases this is hardly designer or very expensive clothing. Moreover, if the garments in question are trend-led, it is wise to buy a high street item first before taking the plunge and splurging on the designer version; if one likes the piece after two seasons, then it would be more worth the ‘investment’. The idea behind the photo shoots I organise is to reflect my style and show that it is possible to look polished and classy without going bankrupt in the process.
For this look, which was part of the Valentine’s Day theme and used for a magazine photo shoot, I chose to pair the soft, romantic touch of the embroidered mesh-like dress with the harder, grungier feel of the Dr Martens burgundy boots. Being burgundy rather than black somehow makes it easier for them to blend in. I loved showcasing this dress because of the embroidered motif, which has been appearing almost everywhere in the last few seasons. From jackets to bags, from dresses to shoes, you name it and it’s there. Apart from the embroidered motif, the dress also includes two other interesting details: the floral theme and mesh fabric. Incidentally, I had seen a dress similar to this one on a magazine but given that it comes from a costlier outlet, the price difference was staggeringly and eye-wateringly notable. I would not really justify such an expense even if it were a fabulous dress. The idea is that you can look put-together, even on a budget; you just need to know where and when to look.
Location: Palazzo Consiglia / Photographer: Mark Soler (MS Photography) / Makeup Artist: Sandy deGaetano / Hair stylist: Kirsty Bezzina (Toni & Guy)