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Fashion Right Now

The Looks of the Season

Without a Trace The Search for Malta’s Missing People

Blooming Wonderful Add Petal-Power to Your Home

Mandy Micallef Grimaud

steps into the limelight

When a new PrĂŠnatal shop opens, being a mother becomes so much easier. Discover this for yourself. Come in and explore a universe conceived just for you and your child, fruit of the vast experience of a leading brand with more than 400 shops in 16 countries worldwide. In your shop you will always find everything you need with a touch of Italian style: collections of elegant and casual fashions for the expecting mother and for boys and girls from 0 to 10 years of age. In the infant care department you will find the PrĂŠnatal brand and the best brands of baby carriages, strollers and bedroom furnishings.

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ISSUE 06 - MARCH 2010

STYLE In-Depth

STYLE Beauty

STYLE Fashion

12 Ladies of the Law

52 Face Forward

29 On Trend

55 Perfect Touch

37 Wedding Bands

The must-have make-up look for spring

Malta’s prominent female lawyers discuss the laws of the land

23 Behind the Scenes

Products that make all the difference

Mandy Micallef Grimaud on life with TV personality Peppi Azzopardi

56 Editor’s Pick

This season’s beauty must haves and product reviews

45 Without a Trace

The tragedy of Malta’s missing


STYLE Living

63 Blooming Marvellous

Add petal power to your abode!

59 Behind the Wheel

The looks to love this spring Gold and sparkling diamonds combine in Sterling Jewellers’ stunning collection of wedding rings

39 Pretty in Pastels

Hot choices from spring’s demure colour palette

40 Bold & Beautiful

Delicious textures, prints and tints

Malcolm Naudi climbs into Maria Bugeja’s beloved VW Beetle

STYLE Cuisine

79 Page Turners

71 Keep it Crisp!

Salads that welcome spring

Krista Micallef Trigona meets three women in print










COVER Mandy Micallef Grimaud Photography by Brian Grech Art Direction by Stephen Azzopardi



Mandy wears Roberto Cavalli dress by Rebelli; necklace (€6800) and earrings (€6300) in 18ct white gold, blue topaz, amethyst and diamonds from the BULGARI Parentesi Cocktail collection – available at Sterling Diamonds


DIESEL Stores: Valletta Sliema


Editor’s Letter

It’s time to move the clocks forward and let light back in! I love that ‘new beginning’ feeling that spring brings; the year still feels young enough to make the most of and, as sunshine streams through the fast disappearing clouds, I’m already looking forward to life al fresco. With that in mind, the Style on Sunday teams have been motivated by the great outdoors and were inspired by it for everything from our foodie Salad Special (pg 71), to our stunning fashion shoot (pg 29) and the flower power of our petal-rich home decor feature on page 63. Yes, spring is definitely on the way and we plan to embrace it. Our wonderful cover star this issue is Mandy Micallef Grimaud, the wife of TV personality Peppi Azzopardi. Mandy made a great interviewee for our spring edition, as her joie de vivre is infectious. She giggled though our photo shoot and smiled through

our interview, imparting wonderful – but sometimes frightening – accounts about the life she shares with one of Malta’s most outspoken media personalities. Read her story on page 23. Having heard the statistics that over 400 people are reported missing in Malta annually, we were keen to delve into this topic further. What we discovered was the heartbreaking reality of the families and friends of those who have not been found, and their desperate search for answers and peace. Read Miriam Dalli’s chilling account on page 45. We leave you, therefore, with plenty to read and relish. Enjoy those long spring evenings! Happy reading!


Win A PAIR OF GUCCI CUFFLINKS This issue Sterling Jewellers is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a stylish pair of Gucci Cufflinks. To enter, send your answers to the following questions: 1) Name three Sterling Jewellers outlets that sell the Gucci Silver Jewellery Collection. 2) Name the local personality that you would choose to give these Gucci cufflinks to, and explain why. Send your answers to or in writing to: Style on Sunday, Content House Ltd, Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Mriehel QRM3000. Competition closes 1 May 2010. One entry per person, with both questions answered. Terms & Conditions apply. Last issue the Silverado bracelet was won by Mary Rose Cachia from Mosta.


We’re looking forward to hearing about what you think of Style on Sunday. Please send your Letters to the Editor, comments and queries to

Content House Ltd Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Mriehel QRM3000 Tel: 21 320712/3 Fax: 21 320714 E-mail:

Editor Jo Caruana

Production & DESIGN Brian Grech Stephen Azzopardi E-mail:

Art Direction Stephen Azzopardi Photography briangrech

Contributors Andrew Zaffarese Carina Camilleri Claire Borg Joseph J Abela Krista Micallef Trigona Luisa Diacono Malcolm Naudi Miriam Dalli Nadia Busuttil Paolo Soldi Advertising Content House Ltd Advertising Executive Matthew Spiteri Distribution Style on Sunday is distributed for free with The Sunday Times. Circulation of the publication is 40,000+ Printing Progress Press Ltd Style on Sunday is a quarterly high-end magazine which epitomises quality lifestyle and refined living. The themes and personalities featured are observed from the ‘Style’ perspective: elegant, inspiring, exquisite. Style on Sunday is meant to stir the desires of men and women, catering for their pleasures and needs. Upcoming issues in 2010 13 June 10 October 12 December All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means: mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of Content House Ltd. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in the publication, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors it may contain.





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Law has long been considered a male-dominated profession, but with more women than ever graduating with law degrees, is this still the case? Jo Caruana meets six of Malta’s prominent female lawyers to pick their brains about divorce, a child protection registry, the private lives of the judiciary, and everything in between.


From left: Krista Pisani Bencini, Nicole Vella de Fremeaux, Roberta Lepre, Ann Fenech, Ramona Frendo and Lorraine Schembri Orland. Photography: briangrech Art direction: Stephen Azzopardi Lights: Nexos Location: The National Library of Malta, Valletta

Lorraine Schembri Orland heads her own firm LsoLegal. She was the first female member of the Chamber of Advocates (Malta) and her fields of specialisation include matrimonial and family law, sexual harassment litigation, as well as cases with a significant international element on child abduction, divorce and annulments, succession and estate law. There is a ongoing debate on the private lives of members of the judiciary – what is your opinion on the matter? When I graduated we did not need a code of ethics to know what acceptable behaviour was. Today this is governed by a Code of Ethics which is the benchmark for what should or should not be appropriate behaviour. You are particularly well known as a lawyer specialising in civil cases, particularly marriage separation cases. What is your take on the cases of separation in Malta? Is it true that separation has become the first resort for many couples? Couples who face the breakdown of their marital relations choose to regulate their status through separation and/or annulment. As a general rule, matrimonial lawyers do have a first duty to explore a reconciliation between the spouses and they sometimes agree. Whether they are successful very much depends on how committed they are and the circumstances of each case. In some instances, a client is adamant on separation. It is only in a minority of cases that I find that there would have been no prior attempt at reconciliating differences. There is an ongoing debate on the introduction of divorce. Do you see it as a solution?  Divorce would be a legal remedy, like separation and civil annulment. It is not a ‘solution’ but a way to regulate one’s status and allow for remarriage. Not every person who divorces wishes to re-marry but most people who seek annulment do so because they wish to keep the option of remarriage open to them. Whether divorce will impact negatively on our society more than cohabitation is something which should be seriously discussed. Do you think Malta will ever introduce marriage for gay couples? At present the answer is no. Do cases still shock you? Sometimes I think I’ve heard it all, but then I come across a new case which shows me how wrong I was! I am rarely shocked because human nature is what it is, but sometimes I confess that apart from the obvious reaction to violence, abuse and callous behaviour, I find it very hard to tolerate a woman who abandons her children for no reason. I have only come across a handful of cases when this has happened, against and despite my advice.



“When I graduated we did not need a code of ethics to know what acceptable behaviour was.” Lorraine Schembri Orland

Ramona Frendo is the managing partner at Frendo Montebello Advocates. She focuses on family law, insurance, bodily injury and fatality claims, as well as general civil law. Additionally she is an Arbitrator on the Collisions Panel appointed by the Malta Arbritration Centre, and a member of the Employment Commission. There is an ongoing debate on on the private lives of members of the judiciary – what is your take on the matter? In the past, when a lawyer was appointed to the Bench, his social life was over. It is said that members of the judiciary did not even attend social occasions like weddings or anniversaries. Of course, that is an extreme, and most would acknowledge that it is too much to expect of anyone. Therefore it is obvious that even members of the judiciary today have a social life, and there is nothing wrong with that. I believe that, like everyone else, members of the judiciary need to be aware of their position, and always act in a manner which respects their role in society, and which does not undermine their authority or credibility, much less their impartiality. This applies both for their personal lives, and their public personae. Was the Government right to insist, for quite a long time, not to include a female lawyer in its


“I have very strong personal views on child abuse; attacking a child, who is weak, is the most base form of human conduct.” Ramona Frendo

list of nominees for the appointment of a judge in the European Court of Human Rights? When it comes to appointments or professional ability, I do not believe that there is such a thing as a ‘female lawyer’ aor a ‘male lawyer’ – just good, bad and mediocre, similarly to any job or profession. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, the gender of any nominee or appointee is irrelevant.  Do you think the rate of child abuse in Malta is high or much higher than statistics show? Do you think the authorities are doing enough to fight child abuse?  I have very strong personal views about child abuse, for the simple reason that I think that attacking a child, who is weak, is the most base form of human conduct. It is more than likely that the statistics don’t show the real picture – this is so all over the world as, because of its very nature, child abuse is often kept hidden. There is a lot of psychological and emotional pressure on the child not to disclose – fear, shame, a misplaced sense of guilt and an even more misplaced sense of loyalty, all play a factor. I believe that the only way to fight child abuse is through education – through teaching our children what is acceptable and what is not. Through teaching them where to seek help, and by reassuring them that they will be protected if they seek

help – not abused again or punished. Do cases still shock you? Unfortunately, in our profession, you get used to dealing with the worst aspects of human nature. Nobody goes to a lawyer unless they have a problem – and problems bring out the worst in people. As a young lawyer, I was often shocked at the baseness of human behaviour in adverse circumstances. Today, I have developed a much thicker skin, and with the maturity of older years, I have stopped being shocked. I have come to realise that it is wrong to judge other people’s behaviour as unacceptable or shocking. One has to truly walk in a man’s shoes in order to appreciate the choices that man makes.  Ann Fenech is the Managing Partner of Fenech and Fenech Advocates, and the Head of the Marine Litigation Department within the firm. Additionally, Ann is the President of the Malta Maritime Law Association, Vice Chairman of the Yachting Trade Section at the Chamber of Commerce, an Arbitrator in Maritime Law appointed by the Malta Arbitration Centre, and a lecturer. There is an ongoing debate on the private lives of members of the judiciary – what is your take on extra-marital affairs? I find extra-marital affairs distasteful and

STYLE In-DEPtH unacceptable by any standards, irrespective of who it is. When those who indulge in them are judges or magistrates, and when such behaviour is flaunted in public, then it also becomes very dangerous. The general public has a right to expect magistrates and judges to behave with dignity and decorum as befits the highest institution of the land. When they do not, they not only lose their own dignity, but more importantly give the impression that that sort of behaviour is indeed acceptable and ‘in order’ when frankly it is not – that will inevitably lead to what is wrong in time becoming acceptable and right. That is wrong. Unfortunately marriages do break down and married people do fall out of love. This is a very tragic situation, however in my view, in such a case they should clearly end their marriage first and foremost for their sake and then, if they so wish, discretely find happiness elsewhere.   How does it feel to be the managing partner of one of Malta’s largest law firms? I was extremely honoured and accepted with great trepidation, particularly since I have such a large case load. It has been an incredible challenge, principally because it carries with it a great degree of responsibility given that today the firm employs 75 people. Being a wife and mother has served me in good stead because much depends on motivating the people around you and keeping them happy, determined and focused, yet still strong enough to take the right

decisions – much like a family. It is only with a contented and focused team that a law firm can hope to remain ahead of the game. My family simply increased from four to 75 overnight! You are specialised in maritime affairs – how do you see the future of this sector?  I have practiced shipping law exclusively for 24 years and feel very passionately about this sector, as I do about my cases in general. I have always believed in Maritime Malta and will continue to do so particularly because we are living in very exciting times, which can only get better as east and west recognise the advantages of conducting their shipping business in, via or through our country. We are, of course, in the middle of a worldwide shipping downturn and international shipping has been extremely hard hit. However it is only a matter of time before the tide turns and that will be another opportunity for Maritime Malta.  Roberta Lepre consults on issues of equality and diversity through her private practice Weave Consulting. Additionally, she runs voluntary organisation Victim Support Malta, aiding victims of crime in general, and forms part of the Domestic Violence Commission. She is also a mum of two. There is an ongoing debate on the private lives of members of the judiciary – what is your take on the matter? I believe the judiciary does have a right to

privacy, especially in relation to family affairs and intimate relationships. Nonetheless, this right halts the moment they start conducting themselves in a manner that has the potential of hampering the trust enjoyed by their office and their perception of integrity and impartiality by the general public, which is a matter that has to be viewed distinctly from purely moralistic perspectives. Was the Government right to insist, for quite a long time, not to include a female lawyer in its list of nominees for the appointment of a Judge in the European Court of Human Rights?  No. The Council of Europe insists on having nominees of both genders as a form of positive action. This is different from positive discrimination, wherein a person of the less represented gender would be automatically preferred. However those who are against this measure confuse positive action with positive discrimination. With positive action, you are merely ensuring that you have both male and female candidates, but the person ultimately appointed would be selected on the basis of merit. You are actively involved in the area of gender equality and discrimination. Do you think that there is still gender discrimination in society? As with other areas of equality, such as age and sexual orientation, gender equality is still far from a reality in Malta. A quick look at the statistics will immediately tell you that besides having the lowest female labour market participation rate in the

“Malta needs a paedophile registry immediately.” Roberta Lepre

“I have always believed in Maritime Malta and will continue to do so.” Ann Fenech 17

STYLE In-DEPtH EU, Malta also does very badly in terms of having females involved in politics and in other decision making roles. This, in turn, has a negative effect on our overall economic performance as well as on the achievement of a true democracy. Therefore, contrary to popular perception, gender equality is not a ‘women’s issue’ and can only be achieved with the full participation of men. Ultimately, it needs to be pointed out that equality is not only ‘the right thing to do’ but also makes really good business sense. Do you believe that sexual harassment in the workplace is common in Malta? Yes. It’s rampant. Unfortunately, however, employers are still not being proactive enough and seem to only take action once an incident takes place. Sexual harassment has very negative consequences on both professional and family life, and so it should not be treated lightly. Should Malta have a paedophile register? Victim Support Malta is a non-governmental organisation that provides support to victims of crime. As the director of this organisation, and also personally, I fully agree that this is something that has to be done immediately. Potential victims, especially vulnerable ones including children, deserve the full protection that can be obtained. I also believe that punishments need to be harsher, and that the justice system in general could do much more to take the victims’ perspective into consideration.  Do cases still shock you? Yes. I am genuinely concerned with each case or issue that I come in contact with. One specific and shocking case concerned sexual harassment by a female supervisor over her staff. She claimed she was entitled to

check which of them was going through ‘that time of the month’. Since she threatened them with their jobs, employees felt they had no choice but to accede to her demand. Krista Pisani Bencini is an associate with Fenech & Fenech Advocates, specialising in financial services legislation, corporate law and project finance. Do you think there is an issue of quantity taking over quality in terms of the number of lawyers graduating? As long as the law course retains high standards in terms of entry levels, subject matter, assessments and quality of lecturing staff, then, strictly speaking, the number of people graduating should, in principle, have very little to do with diminishing the quality of lawyers graduating from the UoM. A law degree is simply the key which allows you to access the legal field – what one does when one enters and above all how one performs is entirely in the individual lawyer’s hands. There is an ongoing debate on the private lives of members of the judiciary – what is your take on the matter? The judiciary is one of the highest institutions of the country and members of it have what is perhaps the most delicate task of all professions. They take decisions which determine the lives of persons and their families. It is therefore imperative for judges and magistrates to impart justice and reasonableness in their decisions in court and to be the embodiment of all that is fair and right. Reputation therefore becomes of essence not only for the individual member’s credibility but also, and perhaps most importantly, for the credibility of the entire

judicature. Accepting the role is not taking on a mere ‘job’ or ‘profession’. It is the taking on of a responsibility to serve justice in society. Trust must therefore be maintained in the court room and outside, and this will necessarily spill over to one’s private life. Being a judge or magistrate is therefore a very big obligation one takes on and I think Maltese judges and magistrates should be respected for their commitment and for the work that the vast majority carry out with such dedication. Whether or not judges or magistrates should be on Facebook, or which other social events they should attend, should, in my view, be something which no judge should need to have spelt out in any rule or code. If a judge or magistrate is everyday passing judgment on other people’s life, then they should ideally be best suited to judge their own behaviour. The situation tends to get worrying when this is not the case. Certainly everyone will inevitably and of right have a private and a social life but no judge or magistrate should let this impair on their role in society, on their independence and on the trust which is placed in them by the general public. Did your expectations as a law student match reality now that you have been practising for a number of years? I am not one to have too many expectations generally. Certainly, as a law student, I was not immediately aware of the vast amount of areas of practice which exist in the profession. The general impression given at the time was that a lawyer’s place was in the courtroom. However, today, I know that court is not the only option. At university I would not have said that 7 years after graduating I would be a corporate lawyer working with international clients on large financing transactions and

“Trust must be maintained in the court room and outside, and this will necessarily spill over to one’s private life.” Krista Pisani Bencini



“When the family didn’t press charges, he was left to roam the streets. This was terrifying.” Nicole Vella de Fremeaux

advising on financial services legislation. Seven years down the line I am more excited than ever about my profession and about the interesting challenges ahead for lawyers. Where do you see your main area of growth in the legal profession in the next 10 years? As a young lawyer, I feel privileged to have started my career at a time when Malta has so much to offer and when the options available, especially in the legal field, are so vast. Malta is making its mark on the international plane and more and more foreigners are showing interest in setting up businesses here. This is essential to the success of my areas of practice, and this is enhanced by the ever increasing feeling of comradeship between lawyers servicing international clients to help market Malta as a reliable and safe jurisdiction in which to operate, which I believe it certainly is. Nicole Vella de Fremeaux is an associate at Aequitas Legal, specialising in family law. She is also the chairperson on the Board of Appeal (Adoptions) and was the lawyer for Appogg for several years, during which time she also represented the minister responsible for social welfare in cases concerning the issue of care orders and court matters involving such minors. She is also mum to four young children. You are actively involved in the field of adoption – how easy it is to adopt in Malta? At the same time, are there enough safeguards to protect children? The law lays down stringent rules and procedures to be followed before an adoption is made possible. There are also certain safeguards contemplated by law to ensure that this system is not open to abuse, for instance,


in the event of minors the Court appoints a children’s advocate and/or social worker, and also hears all those entrusted with the care and custody of the child. However, I don’t feel the law is water-tight in protecting children and there need to be more legal safeguards and more professional people involved in the Adoption Board stage to assess and safeguard the minors’ interests, investigating for instance the financial and sexual background of the prospective adoptive parents. I had made several suggestions in this regard when the law was being amended. Unfortunately not all of them were included in the present law. Do you think the authorities are doing enough to tackle child abuse? I believe that people are under the impression that child abuse is not tackled to the full. This is not a reflection of reality. There is a lot of professional support and assistance for victims counterbalanced with the shame and fear associated with this crime. All victims of abuse, including children, are often threatened and made to feel worthless and dirty by their abuser, so even when they finally speak up there is a tendency to strive to ensure anonymity to protect themselves from the taboo associated with this crime. Many advances have been made, for instance, recently I was glad to see that the Victim’s Support Unit has set up a web page to encourage victims to seek redress and assistance even after the passage of years. There is a lot of help in the field and all it takes is courage from the victim to start the road to recovery. It is tough but well worth it in the long run. Do cases still shock you? I remember the first case I dealt with, which was possibly one of the most disturbing cases

I have ever handled given the age of the victim and the fact that the abuse was inflicted by a close family member who was completely unrepentant. Nonetheless the family opted not to take legal action to protect the family name, so of course the aggressor was free to continue to roam the streets. I remember seeing this man hanging around near recreational areas where children were freely playing and I’m certain he did not have any good intentions. Of course, I confronted him and he left on several instances, but my hands were tied as effectively he wasn’t doing anything wrong and I only knew what his true thoughts were because of information disclosed to me under the veil of professional secrecy. This was terrifying. Now, I don’t want to sound alarmist and let people believe that there are monsters out there waiting to pounce on their children, of course this can very well happen, but generally the perpetrator is someone known to the family or the victim or a member of the family itself. How do you juggle being a mum and a lawyer? While there are many full-time working mothers, I am a bit old fashioned perhaps in that when I had my first child I made a choice to focus primarily on my daughter’s needs. I felt that it did not make sense to be in court looking after the interests of other people’s children at the expense of my own. With four children all under the age of seven I have my hands pretty full. While keeping in touch and actively working within an aspect of the law that I feel passionately about gives me great professional satisfaction, I slot it neatly around my children’s schedule, enabling me to feel fulfilled both as a professional and as a mother.

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STYLE interview

Mandy wears ring in 18ct gold with citrine stone and diamonds (€2465), ring in 18ct gold with rock crystal and diamonds (€3310), bangle in 18ct gold with diamonds (€7760) and ring in 18ct gold with amethyst and diamonds (€2950) – all from the CASATO Animal Venus collection, available at Sterling Diamonds


THE SCENES Words by Jo Caruana Photography by briangrech Art Direction by Stephen Azzopardi Clothes by Rebelli Make-up by Shasha Fabri Hair by John Azzopardi of Hair Design Shot on location at the Barracuda Restaurant, St Julian’s

Living somewhat in the shadow of one of Malta’s best-loved TV personalities hasn’t always been a bed of roses. But as Peppi Azzopardi’s wife, Mandy Micallef Grimaud, explains, she couldn’t be happier.



“We’ve sometimes had police officers guarding our home following a particularly controversial episode of the show. Yes it’s scary, but that’s our life.”

Mandy wears necklace (€5570), earrings (€5280), bracelet (€6740 ) and ring (€2250) in 18ct pink gold, smoky quartz and diamonds from the CASATO Vintage collection – all available at Sterling Diamonds


Some people are impossible not to like, and as Mandy Micallef Grimaud – the wife of eminent local TV personality Peppi Azzopardi – breezes into my office with a grin on her face and with the gift of a bunch of beautiful flowers under one arm, I can tell that she is probably one of them. “I’d like to think that I’m easy to get along with,” she starts, slipping easily into the role of interviewee for a change. “There was this one occasion when Peppi and I were heading off with a group of people to do some voluntary work overseas and we had to describe our initial reactions to the group. One of them described me as stuck up! It was horrible, I’d never want people to see me that way and I hope they don’t.” As we chat, talk quickly turns to what life is like with Peppi; Mandy’s face brightens further. “He’s so sweet,” she smiles. “We’ve been together for 20 years and our relationship has always been a fun-filled adventure. We met when I was 17 and he was 30; he was directing me in a play. Initially I wondered

where on earth our relationship was going, but he was so different to anyone I’d ever met, that it was hard not to fall for him. I wasn’t used to being treated in such a caring or generous way; he truly pampered me. “He was almost unknown then – working as a teacher and involving himself in the running of Alternattiva Demokratika. We moved in together after a while, and shared a communal flat with friends. We used to spend so much time locked up in our little room and surviving on coffee! Nothing mattered because we were so much in love and life revolved around us. Peppi has always been romantic and still is – lesser so today though because of how busy we both are. It’s not all rosy and I worry about the pressure that he is under. Nevertheless he remains the best thing to ever happen to me.” Peppi’s success developed over the years, and Mandy was always supportive. “It has been mad at points, especially when L-Istrina was organised from our front room! We didn’t even have offices back then, but we muddled through and thrived on the chaos.



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STYLE INTERVIEW “I have lived in his shadow a little I suppose, but it never really bothered me and I tend to prefer to sit back out of the limelight. I’m happy to let Peppi do his thing, and he very much lets me do mine. Even though I admit to being a jealous person, he’s not the sort to stay out late or give me reason to worry, so I don’t have to and we co-exist very happily. “I’m also very proud of his relationship with our son Xandru. Peppi’s a great dad – everyone should have a father like him! They’re so alike, and so different to me; they’re both practical while I’m a complete dreamer. He’s very caring about the two of us and puts us first; even if he was in a meeting with the Prime Minister he’d answer his phone to us to ensure that we were alright.” In the couple’s case, it seems opposites really do attract. “While I love getting dolled up, I have to remind Peppi to brush his hair before leaving the house in the morning! Meanwhile I love parties, but Peppi’s a homebody. It seems to work out well and neither of us feels


like we have to be something we’re not.” One thing the duo definitely has in common is their desire to keep busy. “I have become very involved in Xarabank and love my role as a cameraperson and editor; it’s given me incredible insight into worlds I may have never seen. But there have been scary times too. Peppi and I have sometimes had police officers guarding our home following a particularly controversial episode of the show, and we’ve both been threatened. “But I love delving into people’s lives and finding out their stories; it is a passion of mine. I am a very emotional person – I laugh and cry every day. I have been lucky to witness a lot of things that many people don’t get to see – some good, some bad. For instance, as part of a feature we made in collaboration with Caritas, I filmed a drug addict at the PIP Drop-In Centre in Floriana. When we met him, he pulled back a bandage on his leg to reveal the most awful wound; his flesh was literally falling off the bone yet he explained how he still digs through it to find a vein to inject into. It was heartbreaking to see his suffering but at the same time I have faith that we are making a difference. Xarabank has certainly helped to educate our viewers on topics which our society can sometimes be very ignorant to, such as separation, homosexuality and abuse, and we have given people on the street a voice. “And there have been other incredible experiences. We once got to spend time with the St Ursula cloistered nuns, and to experience a little about the way they live their lives. It was humbling to see how little they have and yet how happy and at peace they are. I cannot imagine life like that, having given up everything and everyone, but I admire their dedication. “On another unbelievable occasion, presenter Peter Carbonaro and I flew to France to interview Europe’s last executioner. We were terrified! But as it turned out he was a really nice man, simply following in his father’s footsteps. There were guillotines and blades all over his home, but the pièce de resistance was when he whipped out a jar with a head in it. I couldn’t help but wonder who the head belonged to and what they had been through; it was fascinating to see.” Posing for the Style on Sunday shoot, Mandy seems a million miles from her role as a hard-working mum and video editor. She makes it all look effortless, yet admits to not seeing herself as much of a style icon. “I love dressing up, but it’s all about individuality and I certainly don’t follow the fashions of a particular year or designer. I do enjoy shopping when I travel, and use my purchases to remind me of places I’ve been – a particular favourite is a necklace I picked up in China while filming a feature on the Mr World competition over there. “Themed parties are actually one of my favourite pastimes and I’ll happily spend hours creating a costume and getting all glammed up; I even get the sewing machine out and have a go at making costumes! It’s all good fun.” ‘Good fun’, it seems, is the golden thread that runs through Mandy’s exciting life. “I’ll try anything once,” she smiles, ‘and I’ll enjoy it! Of course there are difficult days, but at the end of them I look round and love my life, as well as those that I get to share it with.”

Mandy wears chain (€900) and pendant in 18ct white gold and 0.69cts diamonds (€3860) from the NANIS collection, bangle in 18ct gold with diamonds (€7760) and ring in 18ct gold, topaz and diamonds (€3016) from the CASATO Animal Venus collection – all available at Sterling Diamonds ST.JULIANS BAYSTREET COMPLEX, LEVEL 1, ST.GEORGE’S BAY. VALLETTA 248A REPUBLIC STREET. MOSTA 67 CONSTITUTION STREET.

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simply simple – just add accessories Jumpsuit – Miss Selfridge; necklaces – Mexx; ‘Elephant’ necklace – Miss Selfridge; wallet – Carpisa

Photography by

briangrech [ww w. Ar t direction by Stephen Azzopa rdi Styling by Carina Camilleri Make-up by Clai Hair by Joseph J re Borg Abela & Location – Derek Nadia Busuttil – Privé Garden Model: Mariosa Centre, Qormi - t

D N E R onT

Style on Sunday takes a sneak-peek at fashion’s international collections and is inspired by the main trends available for fashionistas this coming season.



Florals & Geometrics it's all about the mix


Dresses worn on top of each other – BHS; necklace – Mexx; bag – Carpisa


Dress by Monsoon worn on top of dress by Miss Selfridge; scarf with tassels and shoes – Miss Selfridge; scarf, bangles – Accessorize; belt – Terranova





Shirt – Mexx; jacket – Terranova; shorts – Miss Selfridge; bangles – all Accessorize; bag – Carpisa


Neutrals & safari

utility has never looked more chic

Dress – Tommy Hillfiger; 3/4 pants and leather jacket – Mexx; sunglasses – Terranova; cap – Accessorize; boots – Miss Selfridge



Summer blacks

experiment with unstructured alternative shapes – keep things contemporary with flat shoes


Dress – Diesel; shoes – Giuseppe Zanotti (stylist’s own)

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[1] BULGARI b.Zero1, yellow gold – €600. [2] BULGARI New wedding band, white gold with diamond – €1050. [3] CALGARO, yellow gold with diamond – €495. [4] CALGARO, white gold – €250. [5] CALGARO, pink gold – €195. [6] STERLING, white and yellow gold – €240. [7 ] STERLING, white and yellow gold – €240. [8] STERLING, white and yellow gold – €400. [9] STERLING, white and yellow gold – €150. [10] STERLING, white and yellow gold – €150. [11] STERLING, white gold – €300. [12] STERLING, white gold – €350. [13] Pasquale Bruni Amore collection, from €715. [14] SALVINI, white gold – €285 per ring.


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Silk floral dress. €119.95.

de fort Pink and blue shirt. €92.


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DIESEL Black Engelina Petticoat. €47.


Mya bra set. Vintage glam lace bandeau bra. bra €30, thong €14, shorts €16.


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Charlene and N oem i were insepArabl e as

Noem i and her sister Charle

ne before she went missin

ch ildren


WITHOUT A TRACE On average, 400 people are reported missing in Malta each year. The majority are found safe and well, but for the relatives of those never heard from again, life is fuelled by distress and unanswered questions. Miriam Dalli speaks to the relatives of two missing people to discover that not knowing is the worst torment of all.

Samuel in younger years

Statistics compiled by the Police Vice Squad show that from 1970 to date there are 102 people still considered ‘missing’. The amount of missing people increased significantly from 41 in 2003 to 102 in 2009, primarily due to the amount of irregular immigrants who probably escaped from Malta. Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Cassar affirms that although it is very likely that these people left the country, they remain on the missing list because their whereabouts are still unknown. “We had a case of ten naval crew members who went missing on the same day, taking their passports with them,” he asserts. “It is pretty obvious that they fled the country. But since we’ve had no contact with them, they’re still considered missing.” Criminologist Dr Saviour Formosa says that the typologies of people reported missing vary, from the very young to the very old; boys and girls; men and women; people who are running away and people who have drifted out of contact; people from all walks of life, under different circumstances and with different experiences. “In most cases those who go missing do so


STYLE In-DEPTH for a variety of reasons; mainly psychological stress, teenagers runningaway, escapades and a myriad other reasons.” AC Michael Cassar declares that age plays an important role too, “up to the age of 18, most adolescents run away from home due to conflicts with parents; or to seek adventure or to escape stress and anxiety. But as they grow older, problems become more complex and relationships break down; domestic violence or other family problems may be the main reasons why people go missing.” All cases are treated with importance but there are reports that are more serious than others due to their circumstances. Of the 102 missing people, 20 are Maltese nationals. The stories behind all these individuals are upsetting. The last Maltese national reported missing was Herbert Paul Mercieca, 34 of Rabat, who went diving in Ghajn Tuffieha on 11 January 2009. Before him, Charlene Farrugia, 25 from Qawra, went missing on 6 November 2008. In that same year, Samuel Dalli, 34 of Zurrieq, vanished on 11 January 2008, never to return. The mysterious case of Charlene Farrugia A case that baffles police to this day is that of 25-year-old Charlene Farrugia, who was reported missing by her father. Police began investigating the case immediately and found that, on the afternoon of her disappearance, Charlene switched off her mobile and never switched it on again. However, a few minutes later, her car was detected by the CVA (Controlled Vehicular Access) system entering Valletta, where she stayed for 21 minutes. Her car, driven by a woman, was again seen entering the capital the following day, leaving again just eight minutes later. It was finally spotted on the 9th of the same month, again entering the city – only this time it never left. I meet Charlene’s older sister, Noemi, to learn more about what may have happened to her, and immediately discover their strong bond. “We were always together,” she explains. “We did everything together, I loved her truly and still do; she is my younger sister and I was always very protective of her.” But Noemi says that when Charlene met her new partner, the siblings drifted apart. “She started dating a guy who had served prison sentences. My parents and I felt that he wasn’t trustworthy but Charlene couldn’t accept this. She left my parent’s home and moved in with him. In July 2008 Charlene and her partner had a heated argument and Charlene ended up in hospital suffering mild injuries, but she forgave him and went back.” From that incident onwards, contact between Charlene and her parents was sporadic. A few days before her disappearance, Charlene’s car was taken by the police but she managed to get it back on the 6th. This was to be the last time she was seen, but ample speculation still surrounds the case. Noemi believes that Charlene intentionally lost contact with family and friends, because after collecting her car from the Police Depot she was spotted near her flat in Bugibba, where it is believed that she gathered some belongings. “Her laptop was missing from her flat, as were some


of her clothes. What’s strange is that in the days after she went missing other things disappeared from her apartment, including a small TV set, some soft toys, a make-up bag and a pillow,” asserts Noemi. “At first I thought she was dead, but today I am convinced that she is still alive.” Fighting back tears, Noemi looks straight into my eyes and explains that she desperately hopes her sister will read this finished article and make contact. “I just want to know that she’s okay,” she says. “If it means that she wants to stay where she is, then that’s fine with us. She doesn’t have to come back but we want to know that everything is alright with her.” Noemi describes the bereavement process that both she and her parents have had to go through, emphasising that the worst feeling is that of not knowing. “I sometimes wonder if it’s me who did something wrong, and whether I could have done more. I always wanted her to be happy and would like her to know that if there are any issues that she wants to sort out with my parents, they are more than willing to help her. Every single day my mum and dad await her call, and not a day goes by that we don’t mention her.” Before I leave, Noemi shares some family experiences that stay with me long after I am gone. “On his birthday, my dad waited endlessly for Charlene’s call, and my mum constantly looks out for letters or cards around special occasions. But they’ve never come. My parents lost a daughter and have no idea what happened to her. They think about her every day and cannot wait to hug her once again. All we desire is to know what happened.”

“I think that it’s wonderful that a house of beauty call on a woman when she has reached her maturity. Generally speaking, 40-year-old women are not usually used as the face of beauty.”

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STYLE In-DEPTH “He walked out the door and never came back” – The story of Samuel Dalli In the quiet village of Zurrieq I meet Carmen and Carmel Dalli, the parents of 34-year-old Samuel Dalli, who was reported missing in January 2008. Photos of Samuel are displayed throughout their home, and as I sit down I notice a picture of his 1996 graduation; Samuel graduated as a teacher and was employed at St Benedict’s College when he went missing. Described as extremely active, very quiet, serious, religious and kindhearted, Samuel loved studying and even followed a course in lateral thinking. As she goes through all his published articles, his mum describes how he used to contribute to newspapers, the Church pamphlet and other publications on a regular basis. It is at this point that we come across a poem he wrote for her a few months before his disappearance. “I’ll never forget his gentle ways,” she says, blinking back tears. “Every day, before leaving for work, he would hug and kiss me, and ask for my blessing.”

report his son missing but was told that it was still too early to do so. He officially filed the report at 10pm. Samuel’s mother recalls the anguish of the days that followed, particularly when the searches failed to yield results. His dad describes the searches he himself carried out, particularly in the Blue Grotto area and even in Rabat, where it had been stated that Samuel was seen. He shares: “I am constantly thinking of what might have happened to him. A thousand thoughts cross my mind every day but I have no conclusion to arrive at and run the same thoughts through my mind time and time again.” More than two years since his disappearance, Samuel’s dad still calls his son’s mobile in the hope of reaching him. “I still dream of hearing his voice; I called him again this morning, hoping against hope for the impossible.” His mum prays for him every day. “There are moments when I almost lose faith, but others when I tell myself that everything is possible, we may still find him. I haven’t moved any of his

Carmen recounts the day Samuel disappeared. After lunch, at around 3pm, he told his parents he was off for a walk. Smiling and looking tranquil, he told his parents that he would be walking with a friend of his. He took no money and left his passport and ID card behind. With hindsight Carmen recalls that Samuel had looked worried that morning, but never explained why. “It was as if he was waiting for a phone call, and his dad had seen him using his computer, but when the police took it away to investigate it, they found nothing related to the case.” Samuel, who was wearing blue jeans, a navy blue top and white walking shoes, only took his mobile and house keys with him on the day of his disappearance. Two hours later Carmen tried to call him but found his phone to be constantly engaged. She called the friend he was supposed to be with, but as it turned out, found that they’d had no plans to meet and so she had no clue where he might be. Four hours later, at 7pm, Carmel went to the local police station to

belongings: all his clothes are hanging in his room and his books sit where he left them. I can’t bring myself to throw anything away.” Carmen describes the worst moments she has to face. “My heart aches every time I go to church and hear the priest offer mass for the repose of a soul. It is too difficult for me to go to a funeral, because I wasn’t able to give my son a decent burial. That’s the least he deserved because he was such a kind hearted man. This is my greatest anguish and I my greatest wish is to give him a funeral before I die. I have advised police officials that even one bone would be enough to allow for the funeral he deserves. Samuel’s parents’ final appeal is for information, and they ask anyone in the know to contact the police confidentially. The same request is reiterated by AC Michael Cassar, who urges people to pass on any details that may be of use to the police. He also appeals against false information, which he says wastes time and resources, and can give false hope. Any information can be given on 2122 1111 or 119.



THE STRAND - SLIEMA. TEL: 2133 6962 / 7932 4444

Girls look , d o of you l the i ke an stad th ‘Sexone Wr rs? e Ci ty’ nowite to ... us


Win a taste of the Sex and the City Lifestyle! To celebrate the long-awaited sequel to Carrie and the girls’ adventures in New York, Style on Sunday Magazine, 89.7 Bay and the Eden Cinemas have created a super-stylish competition for Malta’s fashionistas! We are looking for four look-alikes to fill the well-heeled and designer shoes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, and Kim Cattrall in time for Sex and the City 2. The competition, which is being promoted by Style on Sunday and 89.7 Bay - who are renowned for running some of the island’s best competitions - is open to women of all ages. So, send in a photo of yourself and explain why you’d be great! A panel of judges, made up of representatives from Style on Sunday and 89.7 Bay, will shortlist and eventually select the winners based on their charm and personality, as well as their likeness to the stars.

A number of surprises and attractive gifts are in store for the winners, including featuring at Eden Cinemas on the official opening night that Sex and the City 2 is released, a luxurious weekend break at InterContinental Malta, a day of pampering for the winners that includes styling, hair and make-up, as well as participation in a fashion shoot that will be featured in the June issue of Style on Sunday. Of the four chosen, the best overall performer will be treated to a luxurious weekend break at InterContinental Athens (including flights and accommodation)! So even though you can’t win Mr Big, you can look forward to winning big through this fantastic competition. Please send details about your likeness to any one of the film’s four leading ladies, as well as a recent, full-length photograph, to and you could soon be living life in the fashion fast lane!

Sex and the City 2 is scheduled for release at the Eden Cinemas in May by KRS film distributors.



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STYLE BEAUTY Step 1 COMPLEXION: aim for a light-reflective, blossoming complexion for a fresh spring-time glow Use a primer before applying foundation to enable a better make-up hold and to enhance your natural glow. Primer was applied all over the face, emphasising the T-zone and the eyelids, helping to add brightness to eye shadow. We used Dior Skinflash primer.

Step 2 A spray foundation was applied immediately after, creating an even complexion with a natural finish. Airflash Dior is very easy to apply as you can spray it directly onto your face, leaving your skin soft and with a lightweight texture.

Step 3 A concealer was applied to create an even effect under the eye area. Dior’s new hydrating concealer is made from mineralised water and hydrates as it covers. Lighten and refresh your complexion using the poudriere dentelle of Dior’s latest spring collection. Inspired by lace, it comes in two deliciously soft shades: brown and pink. Step 4 On the eyes, vintage shades of silver and silvery blue were used. Light silver was applied to the eye lid to highlight it and brighten the eyes, while the silvery blue was used on the bone area to create depth. This was enhanced by applying a black eye pencil on the upper lid and a lighter silver grey eye pencil to the inner part of the lid. A dark grey eye shadow was used on top of the eye pencil to create a soft, smoky effect. We used Dior’s 5-colour eye shadow palette from the new collection (059). Diorshow Blackout mascara was the final touch for instant volume and intensity.

Step 5 To top the look off, a petal rose lip-liner shaped the lip area. A hydrating lipstick was applied immediately afterwards in a pastel pink hue. We used Dior Addict Lipcolour 663. Step 6 Blusher was applied to add colour and emphasise the cheekbones. We used the new Dior Blush 839.



GEt THE LOOK Inspired by spring, this look plays with a harmony of pastel shades; silvery greys, light blues and soft pinks, enhancing a delicate and radiant complexion. New trends recall the charming style of ‘20s vintage pastel shades and drape skin in a veil of softness.

Model: Sandrina –, Make-up: Claire Borg, Dior is distributed by X-Treme Ltd and found at leading perfumeries, Photography: briangrech



FEEL COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN This revolutionary laser for body reshaping dissolves fat and tightens the skin without the need for surgery. Fat can now be aspirated for quicker results. SmartLipo can be used to treat the face, chin, abdomen, thighs, back, saddlebags & arms. SmartLipo is not a solution to obesity.

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L’Eau Ambrée A discreetly impressive scent which combines an intricate and fresh approach to the balancing of the notes of citron, may rose and amber. Exclusively distributed by Ta’Xbiex Perfumery Ltd. Tel 2133 1553.


CELLULAR SERUM PLATINUM RARE Transforms skin to a tighter, brighter, seemingly ageless state. Enriched with Colloidal Platinum, potent anti-oxidants, collagen-stimulating peptides and brightening agents to banish the visible signs of ageing, it works in synergy with Cellular Cream Platinum Rare. Exclusively distributed by A.M.Mangion Ltd.


Capture Totale One Essential skin boosting super serum, claiming ‘double anti-ageing’ effects. It works to eliminate toxins and allows skin to regenerate more effectively. Distributed by X-Treme Ltd.

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Age Reset Anti-Ageing Foundation For an instant lifting effect, prolonged anti-wrinkle action, firm, smooth and youthfully radiant skin. Blends seamlessly into the skin, visibly reducing lines and imperfections all day long. Exclusively distributed by A.M.Mangion Ltd.


Liftactiv Retinol Ha night is the latest anti-wrinkle innovation from VICHY Laboratories, with a plumping effect from the first morning. For samples and more information email:


Aera Teint Pure foundations by VICHY. A new generation of make-up. Purer colour, healthier skin. VICHY. Health is beautiful.






Enriched with special agents, this Sculpting Foam from Paul Mitchell® combines styling with conditioning. Provides manageability and control for natural curls and waves, while helping to protect and repair fragile and chemically treated hair.

Organic and Eco Certified SMOOTHING EYE CREAM. Clinically proven to smoothen and soften the eye area. It enhances appearance, helps brighten and evens out skin tone under the eyes.

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Pantene Pro-V Shampoo and Conditioner protects your hair against future damage, providing a healthy, shiny, strong look, and increasing moisture retention. Distributed by VJ Salomone.

Organic and Eco Certified FOAMING FACIAL WASH. Removes impurities and traces of make-up. For skin that feels cleansed, refreshed and revitalised that is soft and smooth. Contains a blend of essential oils and natural fragrances.

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Super Strong Liquid Treatment strengthens and protects. Repairs hair from the inside out. Makes hair up to 60% stronger after just one application and continues to strengthen after repeated use.


Lather it on and embrace spring’s dare-to-bare look with confidence! This is our pick of the best moisturisers around.

1. The Body Shop eCO CERTIFIED AND ORGANIC Nutriganics Smoothing Day Cream I’m hoping to avoid skin dryness as the weather gets hotter, and it seems this product is just the trick. It glides on rich and absorbs quickly, and my skin still felt nice and soft 10 hours after application. Great value for a low price too. 2. Lancaster Skin Therapy Anti-Ageing Moisturising Fluid Concentrate I was thrilled with the results of this moisturiser as my skin immediately stood to attention and plumped up. I love its delicate feel and like the luminosity it gave – I’d almost be tempted to head out without make-up!


3 4

3. Organic Elements Antioxidant and Antipollution Day Cream This is definitely a great all rounder – providing protection from the sun with a built in SPF of 15, as well as antioxidants including green tea and olive leaves. I was impressed with this, as I loved the fact that my face felt soft as well as protected from the elements.



4. DIOR Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Creme A couple of days after the application of this beautifully-scented product, my skin is already feeling fresher and smoother. It is very easy to apply and my skin is oil-free and hydrated all day.



Nature始s way to beautiful. VALLETTA





In Maria Bugeja’s own words, she has ‘always loved Beetles’. She tells Malcolm J. Naudi why the new Beetle fits her life perfectly and why she wouldn’t change it for the world.

BEETLE MANIA Text by Malcolm J. Naudi Photography by Brian Grech

Few people I know feel as passionately about their car, and are so loyal to a brand, as Maria Bugeja. “I have always loved Beetles,” she affirms, in between meetings at Saint James Hospital, Sliema, of which she is a director. Her first car was the original Volkswagen Beetle, which she bought from her grandfather, the late Dr George Camilleri, when he retired from the medical profession. But her long-term goal was always to own a new Beetle. Her love affair with the original Beetle lasted barely six weeks: “I had just got my licence,” she explains, “and my grandfather decided he no longer needed his Beetle, which he

had owned from new. “He offered it to me at such a low price that I couldn’t resist accepting. But it was too slow for my system. I have a very hectic lifestyle and, even in those days, I used to cram a lot of things into my schedule. I used to drive in second gear with the accelerator flat down and literally wanted to pull the handbrake up, get out and run!” So Maria opted to sell the car, for practically the same price she bought it, and buy another Volkswagen, this time a Polo. Meanwhile, with the new Beetle emerging onto the market, she immediately started saving up for it. “I was really lucky. I had a friend who was a car


STYLE LIVING dealer. I did a favour for him and, in return, he got me this Beetle at almost cost price, so I could afford to get it earlier than planned.” By her own admission, Maria is not passionate about cars in general – “As long as it starts, gets me where I want to go on time, and doesn’t

give me any headaches, I’m happy.” She drives her silver Beetle every day but doesn’t molly coddle it: “I only get round to cleaning it when I have foreigners coming to visit and need to give them a lift!” She was primarily attracted to the car’s design; its style and roundness of lines. “You either love it or you hate it,” she smiles. “There is no in between. If you like it, you want to own one and drive one. But it’s also the sort of car that some people cannot stand.” Although Ms Bugeja has driven abroad, she wouldn’t dream of driving her new Beetle overseas: “It’s not a car to travel in abroad,” she affirms. “It has a very small luggage boot; it doesn’t take more than a mediumsized suitcase. When we travel as a family I can’t even go to the airport in my own car!” Aside from the new Beetle’s exterior shape, Ms Bugeja likes the interior’s retro touches like the flower-bud vase – although she lost the bud a long time ago. “I have an empty vase now, but it’s these unique touches that make it so different, and so much fun.” On a practical level, she loves the powerful, economical diesel engine, as well as the power steering which makes it easier for her to park. Her own latest gadget addition is a Bluetooth kit, which she finds truly convenient. My parting question tests her to the limit: does she intend to keep it in the long term? She replies that having owned the new Beetle for seven years, she has no particular urge to search for a replacement, although if she won a lottery she would consider a Porsche. “I am still proud to own a Beetle,” she adds.

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WONDERFUL Style on Sunday creates a selection of flower-focused themes to put a spring in your step and bring the outdoors in.

Styling and floral arrangements by designer and artist Luisa Diacono Photography by briangrech Shot on location at Portomaso Residence 31’s latest duplex lofts (Tumas Group). A small selection is still available on Contact 21 386802 or

“I have always loved flowers,” explains designer Luisa Diacono, “and they were my initial source of inspiration for my very first collection of paintings. Today I enjoy incorporating florals into interior design – in keeping with current trends. For this shoot I put together examples which step away from the conventional uses we may have for flowers in our home, creating modern concepts that are truly stylish and contemporary. I hope that these few ideas will ignite your imagination and that you will enjoy developing them as much as I did.” Horizontal panel Fiori Le Grand, cushions, chaise lounge, Laurel tree, wool purple throw, fleece lime throw, purple and green fabric boxes, sphere of purple orchids, greenery spheres, single orchid in black pot, bunch of purple orchids – all by camilleriparismode


STYLE HOME Dressed-up chairs This is such a pretty, easy and original idea. Place covers over your selected chairs and position flowers within the knot of the bow. Keep the flowers simple and light as their weight may cause the cover to tear or the bow to droop. Secure in place with a few pins, but be sure to hide these well. Glass candlesticks This idea makes a beautiful centrepiece. I would suggest using an odd number of candlesticks of different heights as I find the shape they create more effective than a symmetrical one. Here I filled the bottom of these hollow candle sticks with ‘baby’s breath’ and placed them on a mirrored base, creating an interesting illusion in the process. You could also fill the candles with rose petals, or scatter cream rose petals on the rest of the table. CALLA Lilies in a fish bowl All you need for this creative look is a glass fish bowl and some lilies. The trick to getting the lilies to bend is to slowly peel off the outer layer of the stem; keep doing this until the lily starts to contort. Be very gentle throughout this process as you could snap the stem. Once the stem is bent, place the lilies in the fish bowl at different levels to create an interesting balance.

Floating STARGAZER lilies This impressive centrepiece is so chic and elegant, as well as simple and quick to create. Ensure you get your proportions right and that the fish bowl is the correct size for the table. I used stargazer lilies, but you can use roses, geraniums, orchids, or other flowers. Cut the flower-head as close to the stem as possible. Fill the bowl with a bit of water and add coloured gravel or acrylic (matched with the hue of your chosen petals as it’s these details which will make or break it). Wait for the acrylic/ gravel to sink and then slowly place the flower-heads in the water. If you use this idea for a dinner party, you may want to add floating candles to create atmosphere, however, always remember that ‘less is more’ so don’t overdo it. Pink chair cover, glass fish bowls, glass candle sticks and candles, mirrored base, flowers – Alistair Floral Designer & Decorator; cushions, white bedspread, coloured bowls – BHS; coffee table – Home Trends; painting – Luisa Diacono



Tea pot with leaves Get creative with your containers! This look may be a little farfetched, but you can use ordinary items in extraordinary ways. Coloured water (made with food colouring) is also an effective way of adding colour to a composition.

Perspex baubles This is an unusual-yet-effective way of using flowers. Empty perspex baubles (available from craft shops) have been filled with rose heads and hung using fishing wire. Alternatively, place them as decorative spheres on a centrepiece or mirrored base. Bath of flowers This is an artistic installation, however you could choose to fill a large glass vase with petals, leaves and flowers.


Coffee pot, tea pot, egg cups, cups and saucers – Home Trends; foliage and flowers – Alistair Floral Designer & Decorator; leaf square under plate, ceramic leaf plate – ‘art at table’ collection by Luisa Diacono

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... that little bit out of the ordinary

STYLE HOME Roses in a vase This is a contemporary and stylish twist using a simple rectangular vase. I trimmed the leaves from the rose stems and placed the roses at different heights. Never throw anything away; in this instance I used the leaves as fillers in the vase. Almond blossomS These flowers are so elegant and fresh, but often a little complex to position. Here I cut off different branches and positioned them in a long vase. I then filled the vase with water, covering all the flowers and placed a floating candle on top. This concept looks fantastic when grouped in a corner, ideally using containers at different heights.

Cushions, glass candle sticks, table runners – BHS; mirror, candelabra – Home Trends; glass vases, candles, flowers – Alistair Floral Designer & Decorator


Escape to the Grand life this weekend.


he Grand life beckons. It’s called a Luxury Weekend Break at the Excelsior. Enjoy two whole nights and two whole days in 5-star luxury. Discover the nuances of pleasure using all your senses. Start by discovering a deluxe, sea view room for two romantics. Gaze at the still, starry sky; smell the sea breeze, touch the crisp, white cotton sheets. Then dress for dinner and down for a preprandial apéritif. To follow: a 5-star, oriental dinner at the Spice Island Restaurant. Awake on Saturday to a lavish buffet breakfast followed

by a hydrobath massage and an anti-stress massage at your appointed hour. (Therein lies the beauty of your Luxury Weekend Break; time is yours to do with what you will.) The welcoming warmth of the indoor pool or the gym can work wonders for an appetite. After resting and dressing for the evening, it’s the cocktail hour before gently roaming the fresh flavours of the Mediterranean for dinner. On Sunday, sleep in until a late but leisurely buffet breakfast calls. Plan your Grand escape now by calling our reservations team on 2125 0520 or email them on

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Food by Andrew Zaffarese & Paolo Soldi at Lo Spago Restaurant, St Julian’s photography by briangrech art direction by stephen azzopardi PROPS BY JUNCTION 66 ingredients supplied by arkadia FOODSTORE

Duck Salad Serves 4

Marinade: 2 duck breasts; 4tsp dark soy sauce; 1 small glad of cognac; olive oil; the juice of 2 oranges; 2 chopped shallots; some lemongrass

Other ingredients: 100g jasmine rice; 25g ginger; 2 yellow bell peppers; 2 red bell peppers; 12 cherry tomatoes; 120g mixed salad leaves; 2 oranges, thickly sliced

Clean the duck breast from excess fat and slice finely. Marinate the duck breast in all the marinade ingredients for 4 hours (or overnight). Boil the rice

with the ginger and some lemongrass added to the water. Mix the salad leaves and drizzle with soy sauce and olive oil. Add the cherry tomatoes, orange slices, bell peppers and boiled rice, and top with the duck. Spoon on the remaining marinade.



PISTOU Salad Serves 4

4 potatoes, boiled; 20 French beans; 12 cherry tomatoes; 2 basil leaves; 40g pine nuts; 40g walnuts; 2 fennels; 2 artichokes, finely sliced; 4 hard-boiled eggs; 1 small cucumber, chopped; pesto (fresh or from a jar); mixed salad leaves

Toss the mixed salad leaves, French beans and basil in the pesto and place in the centre of your serving plate. Top with the slices of artichoke, boiled eggs, potatoes, walnuts, pine nuts, sliced fennel, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Season, then drizzle with some more pesto and olive oil.



CALAMARI Salad Serves 4

300g squid; 16 fresh mussels; 2 red mullet fillets, seasoned; 300g migas (made by mixing 160g flour, 1 egg and 200ml water); 200g arugula salad; 12 cherry tomatoes; 2 lemons; 2 oranges; 100g alfalfa (available from Arkadia); a handful of chopped parsley

First make your migas by incorporating all its ingredients into a bowl, with some salt and pepper, to make a batter. Heat some oil in a pan and,

when it starts smoking, add the batter, stirring until you are left with small, golden brown pieces of migas. Meanwhile, cook the mussels in some white wine and garlic, and grill the squid. Add the juice of the mussels to the migas and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Grill the mullet in

some garlic, white wine and olive oil. Finally, on a serving plate, prepare a bed of arugula. Place the migas, mussels, cherry tomatoes, orange and lemon segments, squid, red mullet and alfalfa on top, and serve.


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OSLO Salad Serves 4

3 pancakes (110 g flour, 2 eggs, 200ml milk, 75ml water, 50g butter); 20g smoked salmon; 200g cream cheese; 1 fennel, chopped; 2 shallots; 2tsp dill, chopped; 8 strawberries; 2 red chicories; 2 white chicories; olive oil and a spoonful of mustard

Make 3 pancakes by making a batter from the ingredients and frying them in a pan; chop them into quarters. Boil the fennel and

make a mousse by blending it with the dill and cream cheese. Make the vinaigrette by blending some of the strawberries, shallots, mustard and olive oil. Place both types of chicory on the base of the plate, topped by the pancake. Spoon on the mousse, topped with the smoked salmon and the remaining chopped strawberries. Finally, add another piece of pancake to the top and drizzle with the vinaigrette.



In a highly competitive industry, do Malta-published books stand a chance? Krista Micallef Trigona meets the women behind three recently-released local books. I enjoy nothing more than leafing through the pages of a good book, indulging in its content while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate after a long day’s work. What amazes me most about books is the variety that they offer, for nobody looks at a book in the same way. I recently had the pleasure of meeting three local women, each of whom has produced a book very different in style and content. Each one is distinct in its nature and, as I found out, each has something very different to offer to its readers.

Photography: briangrech Art direction: Stephen Azzopardi Location: Palazzo Falson, Mdina

PAGETURNERS Author: Ira Losco Book: Ira Losco – A Photographic Journal by Allen Venables Published: December 2009 With the success that she has achieved from her music career, it seemed to be the right time for Ira to expand further. And what better way than to release a book? “Music will always be my first passion,” she says, “It threw the door open to many new projects and a book seemed to be the next step in my career.” As the title of the book implies, it is based on photography, giving the reader an overview of what Ira has been up to for the past four years. “The book was the photographer’s idea. Allen has taken so many photos of the band and I, and thought that it would be a great idea to reproduce them in a collection. I think that this book has given people a close insight – a behind-the-scenes look – which does not normally see the light; as usually, in magazines, many images are filtered out and only a few are selected.”


STYLE LIVING Even though most of the book is devoted to photography, readers can still expect some personal information that Ira shares with her fans. “I gave the people who appreciate local music facts or anecdotes related to the gig or the fashion shoot featured in the picture. It’s an inside look at what really goes on. “Overall, I think that the book will mostly appeal to people who are fond of photography, live and local music, as Allen has managed to capture some beautiful shots of the live performances as well as some

Author: Pippa Mattei Book: Pippa’s Festa – A Celebration of Food in Malta Published: February 2010 After the success of her first book, 25 years in a Maltese Kitchen, and with so many other recipes up her sleeve, Pippa saw it fit to release a second cookery book, however this time focusing on festive foods that are suitable for all seasons. “Many people thought that it was very brave of me to produce another one,” she chuckles. “But with the support of my family and my passion for cooking, I thought that this book would appeal to Maltese people as I found that many, including the younger generation, enjoy cooking in the typical Mediterranean style. “Though this time, I decided to focus on foods that are typical and would be ideal for the different feasts celebrated throughout the year.


great images of the audience. The book also has some fashion photo shoots and, for this reason, I think that it will also appeal to people who are fond of fashion, make-up and hair trends.” Though this is Ira’s first book, another project could be in the pipeline. “I do have another idea in mind but it will be of a different genre and will probably include more writing. With this book focusing solely on local performances, one on foreign shows may be a possibility,” she divulges.

I wanted to give people an idea of what to make on that day, but at the same time I didn’t want them to feel restricted, as most of the recipes can be enjoyed all year round,” Pippa conveys. For Pippa, cooking is her world. “When you have a passion for what you do, you become deeply involved, always challenging yourself to discover new recipes. The recipes that people gave me, I kept adding my own terms of course. Meanwhile, my travels and other cooks also served as an inspiration. “As an author of a recipe book, one of the things that you need to ensure is that you engage the reader in clear, easy to follow steps, in order not to put people off from trying the recipe,” Pippa says. “Writing a book opens up many doors and although I am not working on anything at the moment, we will see what the future holds,” she concludes.

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Author: Francesca Balzan Book: Jewellery in Malta – Treasures from the Island of the Knights (1530-1798) Published: December 2009


Francesca had never really given much thought to publishing a book and only realised the potential having researched the topic of jewellery in Malta for her MA thesis in History and Art. “This subject has never been studied before,” she says, “It offers people new insight on Maltese history and delves deep into the many wonderful jewellery pieces of the time.” Without a doubt, producing a book takes a high level of commitment and presents many challenges. Francesca explains that one of the difficulties she faced was that of having to convert an academic body of work into a book. “You have to find the right medium where you attain an academic level and at the same time make it accessible to the public,” she smiles. Francesca’s research revealed a wealth of information on a subject she holds close to her heart. “Throughout my research I felt a

strong connection with the past. I was handling documents and jewellery pieces that were hundreds of years old. It really kept me going and really sustained my interest. I felt as though I was carrying out an investigation – but on paper,” she says. “I found it fascinating to learn about the foreign jewellery that was circulating on the island. But what I found particularly enthralling was the social aspect, as jewellery pieces reveal a lot about the people of the time. It was interesting to learn about the folklore associated with the jewellery and the reasons behind why people were wearing certain items. For instance, some were believed to have medical or magical purposes, and were worn as part of rituals or because they contained special substances,” Francesca explains. “Through this book I think that readers will discover a new angle on learning about Maltese history and art. It is a coffee table book that allows you to browse through beautiful jewellery pieces, but at the same time it’s got academic and historical substance. It was certainly a great experience putting it together and I hope that comes across through the pages.”

Style on Sunday - Issue 06  

Style on Sunday is a quarterly publication distributed with the Sunday Times. Produced by Brian Grech and Stephen Azzopardi at Design Establ...