The Malta Independent 15 July 2024, Monday
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The Malta Fashion Week 2015: From the catwalk to the wardrobe

Monday, 25 May 2015, 09:41 Last update: about 10 years ago

Like the previous years, The Malta Fashion Week gave space for young and upcoming designers to showcase their designs.

At twenty-four, Sarah Caruana Dingli has worked with well-renowned fashion designer Julien MacDonald and got to experience being backstage at the London Fashion Week.

Sarah completed a three-year course, B.A(Hons) in Fashion, at Manchester Metropolitan University. The course is particularly intense, as students need to learn how to do prints, how to knit and how to build and promote their own collection. This apart from the theoretical part of the course.

“London Fashion Week is exhilarating – there are models running everywhere, and rooms of models having their hair and make-up done,” she says. This year, she had the opportunity to showcase her own collection at the event in Malta.

Her collection was based on Alice in Wonderland using her own hand-made Maltese lace and embroidery. “I’ve wanted to create a collection with the novel’s theme for a while, but it was too risky to do it for a University project. The Malta Fashion Week provided the right opportunity to do it. The event is growing year after year, and there is definitely more interest in it,” she said. 

(Sarah Caruana Dingli)

“Sometimes people think that because something on the runway is not wearable, the entire collection is not wearable. Fashion on the runway is not supposed to be wearable, it’s meant to be different pieces which can you adapt and wear, but we don’t see that as much here.”

Sarah always loved art, and from a young age she would draw sketches of Disney characters. Later she would take her mother’s sewing kit and teach herself how to knit. But during her adolescent years, she decided to become a vet and pursued studies in sciences. “But I was always inclined towards art so I took a definite decision to do something about it.”

She is now working on setting up an online store to selling women wear of her own designs. The website,, is expected to be up and running by the end of next month. “I want to start selling clothes in Malta that are different than what you find in franchise stores. It should be more adaptable, given less shipping rates. There is a vacuum – everyone pretty much wears the whole thing, so I’m going for something different,” she says. Sarah is currently working on her winter collection for the store.

“When creating a new collection, the fashion designer needs to first have a concrete idea and then research ways of developing that idea. I make a little board and start picking up ideas of silhouettes. I have a particular interest in textiles, so I base a lot of my ideas on colours.”

Being a fashion designer requires you to be capable of using creative software such as Photoshop and Indesign, know all the different sewing skills and how to use different machines. One needs to know how to use digital printing. You also need to know how to market the product yourself.  “We are trained to learn how to complete the entire process.”

“I have seen Malta’s fashion industry grow in the past few years, and Adrian Mizzi has done a fabulous job.  I think so many people would decide to pursue studies in fashion locally if they had the chance, because there are so many talented people, but the truth is, opportunities are limited.”


Sarah explains that fashion provides the canvas to express her imagination. “Throughout the years, my designs have reflected my personal development. Fashion is a form of expression as much as a painting or theatre production. Now I experiment with more with colours and textures.”

 “I don’t know why this sector has to be so competitive and why some stab each other in the back. I don’t want to do any of that. I’d love to be able to push the fashion industry in Malta forward, because we really do have a lot of talents. But people need to be more open-minded and allow it to grow. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make a living out if it, it’s a small industry here, but will try. I am still young, and in a way, I can risk it,” she said.



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