Runway Malta Spring Summer 2012

Following the very successful Autumn Winter 2011 edition, Runway Malta is back in full force for the spring summer season. Showcasing a collection of designers from all over the world, the event is a collaboration of fashion, art, design and a launch-pad for new local designers wanting to make it abroad.
Set to a backdrop of traditional Maltese landscape at Montekirsto Estate, Runway Malta is the only full night international fashion event on the island.
For a night, the venue is transformed into a catwalk theatre, exhibition hall, entertainment area and dancefloor. The night is broken up into hourly shows in the giant auditorium, while local businesses and labels put on exhibitions, installations, competitions and presentations in the entrance hall in between shows. The public was so taken aback by this Fashion Week style set-up last season, that the demand for a continuation became too huge for the organisers to ignore.
Last season was kind of a trial, so to speak. We didnt know how the venue was going to work and weren’t sure about the layout of things. And we werent even sure the public would be into an entire day night of shows like abroad, so it was all a bit of guessing going on. However, after getting the feedback and realising what we can achieve, we have not stopped at anything to bring the very best this time around, says organiser, Shideh Olafsson.
This season, the line-up is huge. The grand master of latex and rubber, high end designer William Wilde from the UK - yes, the one who designed Rihanna S&M Video outfits will be showing as the big finale at the end of the night. His collections are not only controversial, but have a great sense of rock n roll and femininity to them as well. His other accolades have included designing for Daisy Lowe, Paloma Faith and Tori Amos.
The second international designer is from far away and making a special trip to Malta specifically for this season Runway. New Zealand designer, Turet Knuerfermann tk store has been at the top of the industry for years. Mention her name in New Zealand or Australia and people instantly think of high-end design, luxurious fabrics and one of the most successful young designers to ever come out of that part of the world.
This is a very big deal for me, personally. Being a New Zealander, I am totally honoured that someone this talented would choose to join our catwalk in Malta and show the Maltese how design is done in Australasia as opposed to in Europe - says Shideh Olafsson.

Lastly, but definitely not least, the third international to join the bill is young menswear designer, Marius Op t´ Eynde – which translates to Marius Until The End. He is young but has a host of awards under his belt from the Netherlands and Belgium. Not only that, but he has just completed an internship at Alexander McQueen which taught him the most important fundamentals of extraordinary fashion design.
Alongside these very talented independent designers will also be world high-end high-street heavyweight, French Connection UK. French Connection has always had a reputation of being young and fresh and always appealing to the new generation of fashionistas. For this reason, it is important to showcase them next to the more alternative labels.
It is one thing to bring fresh new designers to the catwalk, says Runway organiser Alison Gauci, but its also very important to pay homage to the long-lasting labels who have kept the wheel turning. FCUK has the respect and reputation that we were after for a global brand so we are excited about having them on the Runway catwalk.
And if all of this isnt enough to get any passion-for-fashion hipster excited, Runway Malta hand in hand with Valletta 2018 have put together a New Designer Competition to entice young designers.
Valletta 2018 is a project to enrich Malta´s cultural activities and enhance the many areas of art within the Maltese community. Becoming a candidate for the European Capital of Culture for 2018 has opened the door to Valletta cultural hub and has allowed for artistic relationships to be built between Malta and other European cities.
Because of this, V18 and Runway Malta came up with a fantastic way to team up with another candidate city - Maastricht in the Netherlands - to give a Maltese designer an opportunity to show at the inaugural Fashionclash Maastricht Festival held in June.
Applications are open to any new designer in Malta to come up with three outfits using any material they like. It does not have to be traditional fashion, but can incorporate metals, textiles, plastic or any other material to create a form of wearable art. From all of the applications received, the judges will then pick five finalists to show on the catwalk at Runway Malta. Then one winner is decided and they will go on an all-expense paid trip to show their full collection at Fashionclash Maastricht in June 2012.
Fashionclash has been going for three years now. We have always incorporated fashion, art and textile design into our shows and opened it up to artists from all around the world. We have never had an application from a Maltese designer before and we cant wait to see what kind of young talented treasure we will find through this initiative - says one of the three Fashionclash Maastricht organisers, Nawie Kuiper.
This project, alongside many others, is very important to the Valletta 2018 organisation. By partnering up art, culture and location, the projects are sure to put Malta at the forefront of cultural awareness in Europe, therefore making both Valletta and Malta great candidates for the European Capital of Culture in 2018.

The Valletta 2018 Foundation is very happy to be collaborating on this fashion programme which enables an exciting exchange of ideas to take place between Malta and the Netherlands, both of which are hosting the candidate cities for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018. We look forward to this being a success and establishing this type of shared project over the long term to make of it a sustainable means of collaboration - says Karsten Xuereb of V18.

But the support and partnership doesn´t end there.  Almost all of the sponsors of last season Runway Malta are back onboard to help bring this unique event to life. 

We understand the importance of fashion events on the island - says Paul Falzon of The AV Warehouse.  We had never done events for international fashion designers of this calibre before, so its exciting for us to get involved and be creative with them but at the same time learn from them - he adds.

The extremely creative team behind the shows include some of the most experienced on the island. From hair design by at Mat salon to styling by Pavli Medvedova to make-up design by the extraordinary Karen Schembri-Grima - Runway Malta is an explosion of artistic talent and beautiful fashion.

There will also be a VIP after party held at Tiffanys Lounge in Portomaso on the night following Runway Malta so that stylists, journalists and selected sponsors can meet the international models and designers.
With this and a huge host of other fashionable activities throughout the weekend, make sure 10th March is securely put aside for Runway Malta.  The only full international fashion event on the island.

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Date is Saturday 10 March 2012
Venue at Montekristo Estate, Hal Farrug
Time from 5pm till midnight