An International Night of Culture Through Fashion - Gala Night at Palazzo Verdala

The charming, fairytale-like gardens of the Verdala Palace in Rabat were the idyllic backdrop for a midsummer's dream, An International Night of Culture Through Fashion organized by the Chamber of Fashion (Malta).

8 designers hailing from Malta, Italy, South Africa and Croatia, presented their fashion and jewellery collections throughout the night with models descending a majestic staircase and walking along a red-carpeted runway.

The night kicked off with Italian designer Giada Curti whom I had the pleasure to interview during Wednesday's Press Conference. Giada comes from a family of couturiers which started with bridal couture dresses and now also boasts haute couture collections, and more recently, prêt-a-couture which is a line of high-end dresses that are more wearable. Her Jackie collection opened the gala night with a collection of beautiful summer dresses and garments inspired by the 1970's fashion icon as she holidayed and cruised around the Mediterranean, more specifically, the island of Capri. The collection has a bright, summery colour palette and featured playful ruffles, colourful floral prints and flowy fabrics. This was, in fact, my favourite collection from the night. Brava Giada!

Next up was another Italian designer, Marina Corazzari who Giuseppe Racioppi from the Camera della Moda Italian affectionately referred to as 'la regina di gioielli' (the jewel queen) during the Press Conference, and now I could see why and I can't agree more! Big, opulent, original pieces adorned the models' necks and most of them got me thinking of the Byzantine, Greek and Roman empresses and their intricate gold and precious stones jewellery, all three of which are ancient Mediterranean civilizations - the sea the collection aims at representing. With all it's colours and tumultuous history, the Mediterranean Sea has many facets still waiting to be explored and seeing different fashion and jewellery designers being creative in their interpretations if it is always fascinating to see, especially for someone coming from an island located right in the middle of it!

4 colourful collections from South Africa followed - brightly colourful clothes paired with tribal-inspired jewellery reminiscent of the South African culture paraded down the runway in a perfectly executed choreography. The four designers, Sibu Misimang, Brenda Quin, Katherine Montague and Karla Morton were represented by Danny Moodliyar under the label ONE AFRICA. Each designer had to produce 6 garments, with a palpable South African feel, including subtle tributes to the late, former president of the country, Nelson Mandela such as the patterned prints which instantly reminded me of the colourful garments he used to wear. I really enjoyed the different elements in this show, so well done to all designers!

The penultimate show of the night came courtesy of our own James Dimech and his White Paper Stars collection. It is a collection of sustainable fashion made out of white papers which were folded into different origami shapes before being sewn onto dresses and headdresses. I really enjoyed this original presentation and so proud it came from a local designer.

The final show of the night was from Croatian designer Sladana Krstic and her collection of show-stopping dresses and head-dresses as part of her Farnese and Colours are Direct Emotions collections. This was another jaw-dropping show which I thoroughly enjoyed!

And now for what I wore. I got to wear a princess dress from Nilara's latest collection. I love the embellished top and big skirt. I'd say the colour is like a mauve with silver reflects, hence while I chose to pair it with silver accessories, black sandals and bag. 

Photo by Bernard Polidano

Caroline and myself, both wearing Nilara
Photo by Neil Psaila

Bloggers looking as glam as ever!
Photo by Mark Soler

I'd like to thank the Chamber of Fashion for inviting me to experience this night of grandeur as well as all the sponsors, without which such an event wouldn't have been possible - Malta Tourism Authority, AirMalta, Retail International Ltd., Marks & Spencer, The Palace Malta, Busy Bee Caterers, Stivala Group, Dean Gera Salons, Brittania Tours, Beauty Plus, SU29 Boutique Hotel, Porsche by Continental Cars, Hilton Hotel, Nexos & Co. Ltd., Tower Supermarket, Bernard Polidano Photography, Niumee, Digigraphics International, Camilleri Paris Mode, Mediterranean Ceramics, Myoka Spas, Alfsons Enterprises, All Clean Services, PressH Juices, Deco Manufacturing, Barba Italiana, Il-Malti Restaurant and Queens Laundry and Dry Cleaning.

Catwalk photography by Bernard Polidano

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