The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

Raising awareness through fashion: X Factor Malta judge pins names of murdered women to dress

Giulia Magri Sunday, 9 February 2020, 17:44 Last update: about 16 days ago

Last Saturday saw Destiny Chukunyere win the second season of X Factor Malta, but her stellar performance was not the only thing that caught the public's attention. X Factor Malta judge Alexandra Alden delivered a strong message through her fashion choice.

Pinned to her dress were the names of women who were murdered in domestic violence incidents over the years, including the name of Chantelle Chetcuti, the women who was recently murdered in Zabbar, allegedly by her former partner. The murder of Chantelle, 34 year old mother of two, sparked a national outcry on domestic violence.

Alexandra's dress was designed by Luke Azzopardi, who wrote on social media that the gown was dedicated to all the women who lost their lives due to domestic violence. "When speaking with Alex, she was fully committed to delivering my message for this evening: that no more women can join the list that Chantelle joined this week", Luke wrote on social media. "Hand written in crimson ink, on tags that I stitched into the gown we had originally planned for this week, are the names of women I wasn't given the fortune of knowing, because over the past decade they have been victims of domestic violence in our country." Alden was also wearing jewellery by Frank Zampa, shoes by Aldo, her hair by Prive and make up by Diane Nikolic.

Alden spoke to The Malta Independent about the design for the dress and how art can deliver a strong message, without the use of words.

"Art is a very immediate way to express oneself and communicate a message to others, sometimes without the use of words; in the sense that it is a very powerful tool which I believe can change people when it is given the right platform and attention." She explained that Luke Azzopardi's sentiment, "I always seek purpose in the work that I do", is a sentiment which Alex holds close to is well. "All the artists and musicians I admire have a great depth to their work and I have always aspired to do just the same Meeting other artists who aspire to do the same, such as Luke Azzopardi Studio, is incredibly encouraging." She said that she was extremely grateful to have worked beside him.

She said that so far many have come forward and shared the message which the dress is addressing.

"The wider the message spreads, the better." When asked whether she has any plans for her own music to raise more awareness on such issues, she said that she does not plan her songs before writing them. "I only write what I am feeling in the moment." Her previous single, 'Wild Honey & Thyme' was written after seeing Malta at a distance and reading about the construction and overdevelopment. "I felt powerless and like I was unable to do something, the only thing I could do at that point was to channel my emotions into something outside of myself- which became the process of writing the song."

She said that she felt a song could reach the right people and serve as a wakeup call, and if not a wakeup call, then a source of comfort and empowerment for those who felt the same way. "So I can't say that I'll never write a song about domestic abuse. I haven't written one at this moment, but injustice is definitely something I feel strong about, so I wouldn't be surprised if I did touch on the topic in my music in the future too."


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