On the occasion of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Member of European Parliament Marlene Mizzi wanted to present a taste of Maltese culture, industry, history and elegance. This will be done with a presentation of 100 years of Maltese fashion and couture through an exhibition, a conference and a défilé of high level.

The exhibition “The Vocabulary of Maltese Style: An exhibition of the 20th Century fashion in Malta” started on Monday, 26th June, 2017, in the House of Representatives in the Parliament Building in Valletta, and will be open for public until Wednesday, 5th July, from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The conference “(M)Alta Moda” was held on Wednesday in Spazju Kreattiv fis-St James Cavalier, while on Friday, 30th June, there are high expectations for the défilé “The Vocabulary of Maltese Style”, which will be held next to the Parliament Building in Valletta at 8.00 p.m.

The exhibition is a collection of couture which goes back 100 years, from 1917 to 2017. It is a narrative of the elegant Malta and the talent of Maltese designers. The exhibition pushes forward traditional costumes and a number of objects are on display, including formal gowns, everyday wear, wedding gowns, headwear, paintings, illustrations, photographs, books of etiquette, magazines, adverts, letters as well as articles. One can admire the rich variety of styles from different times and the evolution of the Maltese fashion.

The conference goes hand in hand with the exhibition’s theme while focusing on the obstacles that are faced by the European Fashion Industry from the perspective of small and independent designers. One of the main objectives of the conference was to discuss solutions and different ways forward for the European Fashion and Creative Industries in the EU.

There were various interesting speeches by Luke Azzopardi – curator of the Exhibition “The Vocabulary of the Maltese Style” and fashion designer; Caroline Tonna – costume curator at Casa Rocca Piccola; Kenneth Cassar and Claire Bonavia from Heritage Malta; and Ron van Maarschalkerweerd Borg – director and designer of Charles & Ron.

The organiser of this event, MEP Marlene Mizzi, said that “Malta’s heritage and culture are very rich but unfortunately we do not always recognise, appreciate and praise them enough. I believe that we are still not informed enough about the evolution of fashion and style in the Maltese islands – and hopefully these events will shed more light on this particular and important sector.”

As a substitute member in the CULT committee, Marlene Mizzi organised the exhibition in order to show a different aspect of the Maltese heritage and culture, by disseminating interesting and precious information on fashion during different times.

The high standard défilé, which will be held on Friday, 30th June, will highlight the creativity of Maltese fashion. The défilé will show the high quality of the Maltese product, even in the fashion sector and clearly shows that it can compete with the best creative industries around Europe and worldwide.

Places are limited so those interested in attending the defile are asked to send an email on  [email protected] to receive an invite for the event.

This beautiful project was not possible without Albert Marshall, Chairman of the Arts Council Malta, and the Alliance of Socialist and Democrats of the European Parliament who made this event financially possible; the talented Luke Azzopardi, the curator and researcher of the exhibits; designer Andrew Borg Wirth,Marquis de Piro for loaning historical gowns – including the gown worn for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; private collectors who kindly shared their unique outfits and accessories for this occasion – including gowns from the House of Worth; Kenneth Gambin from Heritage Malta; Carina Camilleri, consultant for the live part of the event; writers and designers and all contributors.