Imagine a palace in the middle of nowhere adorned with flowers of every colour and scent, full of beautifully clothed women and gallant gentlemen walking around tables over a pillow of grass. How friggin’ surreal is that right? So was the feeling at Girgenti Palace last week as Sarto pulled out all the stops for a spectacular first runway show showing Spring/Summer ’14 collections by Blumarine, Emporio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.
Now I could sit here and write about how beautiful the clothes and accessories were. But we all know that already. Luxury brands offer clothes with better designs, nicer (and pricier) materials and craftsmanship rivalled by none. I had a think at the event and even afterwards and what I took from Sarto Garden Runway was a bit different. Dare I say… A bit deeper.
I’d like to share a story with you guys first. It’s about the first pair of Prada shoes I bought a few years back. I remember I was fascinated by the shoes I saw walking down the runway and I made it a point that I was gonna get them, one way or another. Little did I know that I had to work really hard, overtime even, to be able to afford them. A lot of people called me naive. Some even crazy. But the minute they arrived I was the happiest boy alive. That was the high you get when you hold a luxury item now owned by you and only you. However, I didn’t see the next feeling in line coming.
I felt embarrassed whenever someone asked me where the shoes are from and God forbid I spoke about the price. Truth be told, I couldn’t find a way to justify them even though I loved them with all my reckless fashion heart. I felt guilty. Guilty a pair of shoes cost more than some people’s wedding dress. Did I really need them? Couldn’t I have bought 5 pairs from Zara instead?
These questions went on for months until the day I met her.
Her name was Maria Carla. An Italian woman in her sixtees so fabulous it makes your face light up. She was sitting in front of me at a café one day and I noticed her Prada sunglasses. Now I do this thing whenever I see someone dressed nicely – I let them know. And I did. To my surprise Maria didn’t say thank you, she said she noticed my Pradas too. Not only had she seen them… She had recognized they’re Prada. Suddenly, I felt really at ease with this woman I had just met.
“People over here don’t get it… Expensive shoes and clothes and stuff,” I said.
“I like people like you. You’re a dreamer,” replied Maria.
She walked out with her dog a few minutes later and I never saw her again. It took me a while to understand what she meant by ‘dreamer’. What I think she wanted to hint at me was that fashion favours fantasy over reality. I feel like that plays a huge role when it comes to luxury shopping. Obtaining covetable pieces against all odds is in a way making dreams real, and in turn, making them highly personal additions to your wardrobe.
Now some may argue that fashion rotates every 6 months, and that this way fashion pieces lose their lustre. I really never agreed with this – special investment pieces are timeless, especially when the quality of a garment or accessory is so top notch. That shit is the shit and it lasts a lifetime. I still wear my luxury finds from years ago this present day, and I’m sure you know women who still wear their trusty Louis Vuitton and Chanel bags religiously even a decade later.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that fashion at its best is an extension of your creativity and an outlet for your personality. And if that dream is out of your reach for the time being, you can use it as an aspirational approach to style. One day you may have more money to buy pricier items. However, your sense of style will always stay with you. It’s a process – a learning experience of how well you know yourself and appreciate what you have genetically and materialistically. The true luxury is being happy.
Blumarine, Emporio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana are available at Sarto, Ross Street, St. Julian’s
Images via Brian Grech