The closest thing we have to a local fashion trampoline and this year, I have a problem with it.
The New Designers show has been a must-see year after year. First time designers have the opportunity to show what they’ve made (and made of) and get their names out there. Last year we saw the birth of Marco Parascandalo so to speak and look at him now – he has a show all to himself! But more on that later.
I honestly always held back from saying what I really feel – I would just cover the ones I liked and just ignore the others – but this time around I have a bone to pick with these guys. My biggest concern when I sat down and watched 13 designers push their merch down the runway was that merch… There wasn’t much of it.
What do you mean Daniel?
See I get that fashion can be ‘art’, creative, innovative and all that jazz… But at the end of the day fashion is a business. And when the first impression I get of a new designer is that none of the looks are wearable and ultimately sellable… That’s no bueno man.
The show kicked off with a goodie though. Margo De Vidal‘s collection full of earth tones wasn’t groundbreaking when it comes to design but was cohesive with a couple of twists here and there (belts and fanny packs!) to keep people interested and me happy.
Lukka is what I like to call an ‘overdesigner’. There was liquid silver, fur, fringe, sequins, chiffon, satin… All in different colours and topped with a different hat or headpiece.
I don’t have much to say about Fretka. Design was ordinary, tailoring could have had some work done and colours were meh. And in a sea of designers ordinary doesn’t quite cut it.
Gaetano was one for surprises. I hate the word couture being thrown around but these were gorgeous well-made dresses with a lot of character and sex appeal. He wanted a powerful woman and he got it.
If you want pants with crazy cut-outs, Mari Ahoy is the girl for you. Styling could have been turned up a notch and that last dress… Oh boy. Everyone was gasping and not in a good way. Vulgarity is never a good idea.
Okay. Okay. Okay. WHOA. Okay. WHOA. So were the reactions during the Maria Cutajar and Edith collections. The whoas were the lampshade dresses and all the frayed fringe in case you’re wonderin’.
No one said anything about Poshet! before, during or after the show other than the fact it has an ‘!’. That’s probably all you need to know too.
I’m the first one to say fashion needs to be fun. MC Fashion was fun. But for fun and quirky to work… The tailoring needs to be perfection. The issue everyone seemed to point out was the pant situation. And if there’s such a thing as too much colour, this was it.
A good balance of art and wearability. So was Gabrielle’s collection.
Daze on the other hand is extremely wearable and will sell. But when you have such a basic concept (tees really…) you really need to crack the styling department. Where were the bags?
And this is where I struggle. Sarah Caruana Dingli was a full-on Alice In Wonderland fest. Is it fashion or is it costume? Is it fashion if you can’t wear it? One to watch. Not one to wear.
If you call your brand Beyond Couture… There’s a 500% chance you’re setting yourself up for failure. There is nothing that’s beyond couture. Name change please.
The feeling I was left with after digesting all this for a couple of days is that some designers failed to see what lies beyond what they like and see what people want, what works, and find the compromise that will sell. Fashion is a tough business and you have to put your best foot forward.
Especially when it’s the very first steps.