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Collection #17
Born of Dark Water.
The garments in this project were conceived through contemplation of Piero della Francesca’s painting, The Nativity, dated to 1470–1475, where angels are depicted in a spectrum of blue within a world seemingly trapped in perpetual twilight, devoid of shadows. The figures stand against a decaying building. Jesus lies naked on Mary’s blue cloak that has been spread on the ground. The ground is tainted with a black tar-like substance.

The notion of a crumbling structure has become emblematic in medieval Maltese poetry, particularly in Pietru Caxaro’s poem, ‘Il-Kantilena’, the oldest known literary text in the (old) Maltese language, dating to the same period as della Francesca’s Nativity masterpiece — around 1470. There is a possibility that both were created concurrently.
These works offer profound insights into predestination, the cosmic script written in the stars, and the symbolism of fruit—both literal and metaphorical. The dark soil and waters from which the infant emerges echo the concluding lines of ‘Il-Kantilena’: ‘[…] there is black land, and red, but above all, what you want from it is a fruit’.

While crafting this collection, immersed in scans of medieval Arabic constellation manuscripts, pondering the early Renaissance worldview of predestination and reminiscing about the lost marvels of Arab Malta, a thought emerged: fashion elegantly reflects time, adeptly paying homage to the past, yet often struggles to transcend it.