Monday, January 13, 2014

Fashion Designer Luke Azzopardi

In December I was invited by a lovely friend to attend Luke Azzopardi's bridal fashion show at one of my favourite shops in Malta, Camilleri Paris Mode.

I was entirely blow away by the collection: A strong, cohesive body of work that was impeccably tailored and hand made, based on classic lines and historical silhouettes but still managing to be modern and fresh.

I had a teensy moment of regret that I was married in 2013 and not 2014. I would have loved to celebrate in one of his creations. 

But Luke doesn't just design bridal wear. His S/S13 collection, 'Midnight in Persia', effortlessly blended light fabrics printed with historical paintings and mosaics (a la Dolce & Gabbana) with classic silhouettes. 

He also designs theatre costumes, which is perhaps unsurprising given the playfully theatrical underpinnings of his work. 

And he's younger than me, to boot. 

If you're interested in the fashion scene in Malta, or on emerging designers to watch, I strongly urge you to get to know Luke Azzopardi.

And while you're at it, a Maltese fashion blogger to watch is Daniel Azzopardi of The Devil Wears Praduh. Read him if nothing else than to see his fabulous hats.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Malta in the media: December 2013

Malta has been getting a lot of traction in the media as of late. It seems that every other day photos and stories of Malta are popping up in my social media feeds from HuffPost and CNN. One little island sure can make a lot of noise in the international media.

In case you missed these headlines, here is a picture of Malta in the media during December 2013.

I think these stories serve as a good reminder that even the most beautiful Mediterranean islands struggle with complicated issues. 

Malta made's list of the best places to retire to, again.

New York Times: "Beneath Malta's Beauty, A Tangled History"

This has been the country's line for years.

Who said money can't buy everything?

See above.

And, spotted at Nelson Mandel's funeral:
Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (the balding guy).
Sitting with the Clintons and the Bushes.

Friday, January 3, 2014

What do you collect?

I became, unwittingly, a collector as a child. I had a music box collection that was started by my grandparents.

(Hi Grandma and Grandpa! They read this blog sometimes. My grandpa calls it my 'blob'.)

I received a new music box on every birthday until I turned 20. Today they sit in my parents' basement, in crumbling boxes gathering dust, until I ship them across the ocean or return to Canada someday. I have aspirations to display them in a quirky cabinet in the home-library of my dreams.

This collection is finite: It began, it ended, and now it is. 

I collect art, too. This is no unwitting collection. Each piece has a place in the timeline of my short life, a geographic marker on the map of my travels. This is an addictive collection. It is added to and subtracted from, it will end only when I end.

It never is, it is always becoming.

I think everyone collects something. You're here, so maybe you collect blogs?

Collecting is, in no insignificant way, a part of what makes us human: The accumulation of things, tangible or not.

Although we often associate collectors with wealth (big houses and bigger pay checks) or eccentricity (collectors of belly button lint and barf bags come to mind) they need not be. Consider the Vogels, made extraordinary by their very ordinariness.

You can learn more about Herb & Dorothy in this documentary. 

So tell me: Are you a collector?

I want to know about your collection.

Where did it start and where does it end?

Surprise me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Stroke of Inspiration / II

In the second edition of the Stroke of Inspiration: a light rom-com novel, a racy Vatican drama, a podcast about dying, and a mysterious documentary.

Attachments: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell is written from the perspective of Lincoln, a guy in his 20's whose job is to read the emails of employees at a newspaper. In true rom-com fashion he falls in love with one of the author's of those emails, Beth, just by reading her emails. I know, I know, roll your eyes. But it's actually a cute, quick read, that's somehow better than it sounds.

This show is my guilty pleasure.

The Borgias (2011-2013/2 seasons) is a historical fiction TV series by ShowTime that follows the Borgias (billed as "the original crime family") on their journey to the top of the Roman Catholic church, and their impact (sort of historically accurate) on history. I'm a sucker for period dramas, and this is one of the juiciest, raciest ones I've ever seen. 

Watch it if nothing else than to see Jeremy Irons nail it, for the beautiful opening credits, and for the historical costumes and sets.

Rich, citrusy, seafood heaven.

If I had to make a list of documentaries that I will never forget, the cinematography and content of which have stayed with me to today, Into Eternity (2010) is at the top of that list.

I almost think it's better if you go into it not knowing what it's about. But here are some hints: I first heard of it in a philosophy of communications class. And it will change the way you think about energy sources forever. 

When I finished listening to the "How Dying Works" podcast by Stuff You Should Know I was

a) blown away that we don't learn this stuff in school and

b) determined to make everyone I know listen to it.

Because everyone dies, and doesn't it make sense that we should know how it works? And how to be around dying people? Did you know there are stages of dying? That touch is your last sense to leave you? I had no idea. This podcast rocked my world.