I woke up from a quick night’s rest to a Saturday morning start to Mercedes_Benz Fashion Week Malta 2016. People looked quite impressive the morning after partying at Medasia Fusion Lounge for the #MFWA2016 opening party. Anxious attendees filled the seats on the historic Republic Street in Valletta. As I sat in my front row seat, scanning the long line of shoes in front of me, I almost didn’t notice the crowds of people piling on top of Teatru Rjal to get their eyes in on the show. Tourists and curious passersby crowded around the roped off runway next to the historic theatre.
As the music faded and the murmuring of voices quickly receded, the trademark Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Malta theme song rose through the speakers. I could feel the excitement fill the hot, humid air.
A vibrant Colin Fitz introduced #MFWA2016, the Executive Producer, Adrian J. Mizzi and the Chairperson of Valletta 2018, Jason Micallef who is a sponsor this year in collaboration with MFWA16.
The show began with Lukka Pizzuto’s collection, “Night Mist”. Reminiscent of, however quite different from his last collection, this year Lukka went for a more exquisite aesthetic. Oriental meets Saville Row. With a more subtle color scheme this time around of midnight blue and black, the vintage inspired collection conveyed a romantic elegance. The designer’s signature vintage style was discernible through his tailoring techniques. Another clearly recognizable trait of Lukka’s snapped on the runway was his knack for mixing textures. We saw damask and corduroy along with plush velvet on a blazer and lapel. This line spoke of elegance- sultry and subtle, splendor and sophisticated.
Maria Cutajar’s collection, “Summer Breeze” swept through the humid Republic Street, designs soft, yet regal. Colorful floral patterns mixed with rich purples, moss greens, and clean whites. An interesting mix of silhouettes gave us a casual elegance – free flowing yet oriental. Playful use of pleats and layers added much to the exploratory garments. Tasteful headpieces and handbags worthy of Kate Middleton status, accentuated the designer’s floral theme. Cutajar’s continual experimentation with shapes and construction has led her to creating quite interesting silhouettes. One particular achievement in this collection, her voluminous yet minimal, classic ball gown style wedding dress, was complete with a sweet bouquet of flowers and matching headpiece. Look out Philip Treacy.
Finland native, Mari Ahoy brought back her light and airy skirt/pants, bateaus and big bell sleeves that we fell in love with last year; however this year’s garments came in a monochromatic black scheme. The collection was arguably similar to last year’s line, but hey, if it works, it works and in the end, the goal is to sell right? Her signature skirts, which line the outer leg and wrap around the ankles define her Cardin-esque aesthetic of cut outs and borderline Avant Garde patternmaking techniques.
Swimwear designer, Giulia Pandolfino showed her line “Active Allure” under her brand name “ISLND Swimwear.” Taking inspiration from lingerie cuts, this sporty swimwear collection exemplified exquisite craftsmanship and versatile wearability. Decorative straps, netting, and sliders criss-crossed and wrapped our eyes around beautiful beach bods and brightly colored sports lux bikinis. Ideal swimwear suitable for poolside, seaside, or a yachting weekend, the versatility of this collection seems a safe choice.
Avantgarde shapes came down the runway and all eyes feasted on Nathan Micallef’s line for the ladies. This innovative fashion student clearly doesn’t shy from design experimentation. Combinations of wool and faux fur in big plush round pattern pieces screamed Cardin meets Rihanna. In an industry so cutthroat, it’s exciting to see a fresh fearless face. Micallef embraced fashion’s capriciousness in this collection and it blossomed into something truly unique.
Using fashion to convey a strong message is a subtle manner is something that designers are constantly trying to achieve. Malcolm Cremona nailed it. The designer took a turn from last year’s bright colors and spread an inspirational message through a bold black and white collection. The contrast made the message that much more clear. Sloganned garments read, “Dream,” ”Imagine,” “Believe,” “Create,” “Inspire,” and “Achieve.” Combinations of stretch materials made for a very practical, wearable collection. Cremona’s construction combined touches of Avant Garde with a practical Paris chic elegance. As the models made their last walk, Malcolm’s outfit completed the collection. It read, “I Can and I Will, Watch Me.”
Gabrielle Fenech summoned the close of the show with her collection, Pripyat, inspired by the Ukranian city where the Chernobyl disaster took place. Beautifully tailored garments in army greens and solemn greys slowly walked the runway. Gas masks, crystal necklaces, and green jewel toned decals gave a dark decorative feel to the melancholy collection. Craftsmanship pointed inspiration in the direction of couture designers Rick Owens and Thom Browne. A shocking way to end the new designers show, fans left with a heavy heart.
Show review written by Sacha Kinser (Founder of ColorMeCashmere) supported by Pierre Mizzi (LogixCreative team) for #MFWA2016.
Word from the bloggers…
“With a touch of reclaimed vintage, Lukka’s collection is sleek, refined, and sumptuous. Well executed!” –Style in Transit
“Maria presented a tasteful combination of pieces including flared trousers and tops, pencil skirts and intricate accessories.” –Grazielle Camilleri
“Mari Ahoy hails from Finland and studied fashion in Scandinavia before upping roots and moving to Malta. Her roots shape her design aesthetic, evident in the unassuming but stark shapes, harking back to Nordic design” – Style in Transit
“Watching the models clad in bikinis, I noticed how well the latter fit, as well as how interesting the designs are. True to form, swimwear can be very difficult to pull off, so well done to Giulia – every stitch counts!” –Style in Transit
“I thought that [Nathan Micallef] brought a fresh and an adventurous approach to fashion.” –The Fashion Trend
“I also love what Malcolm himself was wearing and the slogan on his shirt that read “I can and I WILL Watch me!”. He certainly as a lot of talent! Good luck Malcolm!” –Zeza’s Things
“My lasting impression of Gabrielle’s collection is her apparent understanding of the female form and her ability to pair daring statements with feminine wearability.” –Tapp Into Malta