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Ritienne Zammit : Fashion or A Powerful Stand for Patriotism ?

IsBlogs - Ritienne Zammit - Designer in her studio

Graduating with a BA (Hons) in 3D Design and Interiors, Ritienne’s passion has always been Fashion and using fashion to make a statement.  Not afraid to start her career with controversy, she chose the subject of “Censorship in Malta” for her thesis; focusing on the 3 main issues she believes affect Maltese society:  Politics, Religion and Sex.

Ritienne’s need to shock and create controversy succeeded; “I wanted to test the emotions of society”; the final irony came when Ritienne was herself censored and stopped from exhibiting her work.  Undeterred, Ritienne continued to work on her concepts and ideas and has never looked back; investing all  of her free time and money into creating her own designs and winning the New Designer Award at Malta Fashion Week in 2013.

Ritienne showed for the third time at Malta Fashion Week in May 2015, showing her Collection, L-Omm Li Tatna Isimha. The inspiration for this boldly patriotic Collection came from Maltese history, language and all the elements that make up the Maltese identity.  “ I feel strongly that a lot of Maltese people do not really appreciate their own identity and their roots.”  She chose three Maltese personalities and dedicated the Collection to them; Manuel Dimech, (social reformer, author and poet : 1860 – 1921),  Dun Karm Psaila, National Poet of Malta : 1871 – 1961) and Dun Mikiel Scerri (patriot and political activist : 1737 – 1799).

Ritienne researched the three historical figures and developed the outcome onto prints and then fabrics.  The Collection simultaneously makes a bold statement for Maltese patriotism whilst still maintaining wearability, making the Collection a huge success both with the media as well as her growing number of loyal fans.

Not content with letting the clothes tell the story, Ritienne created an accompanying video to push her message home.  The powerful clip portrays a young woman who is representing the Maltese Identity, being bullied by Society and being betrayed by the “kiss of Judas”.  Ritienne’smessage :  Society is bullying our Identity, thus as Maltese nationals we do not wholly appreciate who we are.

In the wake of the success of the L-Omm Li Tatna Isimha Collection,  Ritienne is throwing herself back into new, in-depth research and concepts for her next Collection.  Although not showing until the next Malta Fashion Week in 2016, she is already sourcing materials and developing colour schemes…. Nothing is done by halves…. “I like to start early…. It is important to have a concept, a philosophy behind the Collection”

Ritienne is currently also working on developing an online shop, which will undoubtedly be very popular with the many Maltese living overseas, as well as working towards opening her own stand-alone Fashion Studio.  This is one Maltese designer worth watching …………

Credits: Elisa von Brockdorff, Kurt Paris and Bernard Polidano

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