Charity begins at home goes the age-old adage, but when it comes to helping others, the Maltese people (and even foreigners living in Malta) are indeed unparalleled in their efforts and donations. They may complain about their wages, about inflation or the standard of living, but when the moment presents itself to aid those in need, they definitely rise above the occasion. Perhaps it is our Catholic upbringing, the subconscious desire to have a clean conscience that we are doing the right thing. Mostly, though, it is a genuine and selfless gesture.
So what or where does fashion come into it? After all, the world of fashion is very often punctuated by nastiness, pettiness, and shallowness, with the people inhabiting it very often being cordoned off safely from reality, ensconced in their designer gowns and handbags. However, three formidable women sought to turn this impression on its head. With an acronym that stands for each of these women, whom I have the utmost respect for, MYN (Marisa Grima, Yvonne Desira, and Noelene Miggiani) has worked to transcend the ephemeral aspect of fashion, and make Fashion for a Cause a roaring success with every show, with every event. It attracts people who are not just fashion lovers, but for whom following a just cause is paramount.
In collaboration with The Marigold Foundation, the event usually takes place at the rich albeit homely gardens of Villa Francia. So it was for the 2019 edition, because as soon as one finds the right formula, then it is guaranteed to work. Although the organisers expressed some tension and trepidation, I am sure the attendees agreed that it was successful as the previous editions, if not more. Indeed, I felt at home and it was one of the most enjoyable afternoons, not least because it was spent in the company of like-minded individuals. So before moving on to the collections and some highlights, I have to commend MYN and the work these women are doing, as well as The Marigold Foundation for raising money for veritable causes, such as the Young People’s Unit.
One cannot not mention the generosity of the people behind the brands and collections who were among the most genuine believers in such causes. This is attested to by the fact that when speaking with them, they are down-to-earth and approachable. It is also reassuring that many of the participating brands or designs have women at the helm. For instance, there is Nilay (the designer of Nilara) who is sweet as they come, Diane Izzo (the owner of Dizz Group) who is this force of a woman to be reckoned with, Rachel Vella (owner of ROCS group) who is humble and reserved despite her success, and Romualda Vella (owner of ROMMs boutique) who is supportive towards such endeavours. With collections by Elisabetta Franchi, Max&Co., Liu Jo (all forming part of the Dizz group family), as well as fresh summer gowns by Nilara, offerings falling under the Romms boutique signature (such as Mangano), and other brands like Debenham, VASCAS, missey & bo, and Lilly Mae, the audience was definitely up for a colourful, vibrant show tinted with sophistication and style. Speaking of colour, INGLOT provided the hair and makeup looks which were equally sleek and matched the attire. Throughout the show I could hear attendees around me as they oohed and aahed at quality pieces sashaying down the garden aisle donned by strong, beautiful models. This event has indeed been perfected throughout the years, down to the details. Post-show, the guests made their way into another part of the garden where they were treated to finger food by James Caterers, coffee by Nespresso, and beverages by Charles Grech. Despite the spring breeze falling, it was demonstrably difficult for people to extricate themselves and make their way home, as the atmosphere was abuzz with relaxed socialising and catching up. A huge well done!
Other sponsors worth mentioning: Fino lifestyles, O’Hea Opticians, and GSD Marketing LTD
Photos: Justin Ciappara Photography
Highlights of the Show
Tuxedo looks, Sunflower Yellow, and Versace-inspired print all by Debenhams – starting off the show
Nilara’s fresh summer gowns – lux, radiant colours accompanied by interesting designs. These are my favourites:
Subtle, classic elegance offered by Max&Co. (Dizz group); though I am not a very big fan of pink, I must say that these pieces definitely changed my mind!
Liu Jo (Dizz group) also presented wearable pieces for both causal and smart occasions
Breaking up the fashion-focused shows was VASCAS with its return to ladylike, traditional jewellery such as the cameo earrings, alongside more in-vogue pieces, such as shell details
Lilly Mae keeps it contemporary and trend-oriented whilst retaining a timeless touch
Mangano at ROMMs boutique is instantly recognisable with its stripes, ruffles, and fringe details; it surely amps up the swag but also enhances femininity!
And finally, the show to end all shows… Elisabetta Franchi’s (Dizz group) powerful yet playful pieces