ISSUE140∫ JUnE2016 PINK ISSUE140∫ JUnE2016
TAKING CENTRE STAGE
Fashion & the Arts VICTORIANA COUTURE VIBING
Shoes as a window to the soul
THEY’VE GOT THE MOVES Women in choreography Artistic direction for disability
I know what you wore this summer… The Pink Fashion Show on film Off the catwalk and on trend
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FEATURES 12 ArtyFacts adam… or eve? Women choreographing their own life 19 ArtyFacts when one door closes… Showbiz opportunities for all
REGULARS FASHION 28 ShowStopper clutter-free combos Simplicity straight on 39 TheUniform spotted @ pink The top trends off the catwalk 42 FashionStory fashion [ foot] forward Stepping into exclusive shoes 46 Pink@TheParty The Pink Fashion Show 52 FashionStory cabinet of creativity Nine-piece haute couture collection
HEALTH 55 BeautyParlour the man behind the make-up Meeting Max Factor 57 PinkShrink attack behind your back Cutting out backstabbers 59 ParentingTips sleep to learn Let sleeping children lie
9 EditorsNote 10 MailShot 23 WomanKind queen of the poor Angela Burdett-Coutts 53 ThinkPink health & beauty 56 ThinkPink fashion, events & things 61 GirlTalk invited. going? not going? maybe? The Facebook party pooper 64 TableTalk between the sheets Mango, pistachio, almond and hazelnut millefoglie 67 WomenOnWheels big is beautiful Hyundai Tucson 71 SnapShot expressing freedom Annabel Zammit 74 StarGazer the future is pink Horoscopes
COVER Photography Andre Gialanze ∫ Styling Marisa Grima [www.marisagrima.com] ∫ Hair Lisa Schembri, Screen Team Malta ∫ Make-up Lisa Schembri, using Max Factor ∫ Location Immagine Casa ∫ Models Michela @ Supernovamodel.com wears jumpsuit, €39.99; vest, €12.99; shoes, €35.99, all Bershka ∫ scarf, stylist’s own. Daniela @ Supernovamodel.com wears dress, €24.99; top, €17.99; jeans, €29.99; shoes, €29.99, all Bershka.
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Photography Kurt Paris
EDITORSNOTE It’s oﬃcial. Several psychos are on the loose… and they all seem to be happening to me. It was a week where they gravitated around me… and the only positive is that I now have something to write about. Let’s start off with one of the loony guys, who did works on my house. I suffered his rude, aggressive and irrational behaviour – which involved cutting the phone in our face, chucking us out of our own house, holding on to the key and effectively locking us in when he was ﬁnally done, and crazy, rambling messages, justifying his absence and unreliability through every possible family crisis that he happened to have to face – for two torturous years. And then, I went back for more… After six long months, repair works were ﬁnally to be carried out. How many weeks – and days – are there in six months? That’s how long and tedious the wait was for a minor job that would, of course, cost a lot. But when the day arrived, only a quarter of the work was done. And yet another month had to pass to complete it. Or rather attempt to. It was yet a time of family crises for our poor, unlucky man. And asking for a date brought that irrational wrath of hell upon us. The obvious question is: why would any paying clients put themselves through this? Why would any customer be at the mercy of a service provider who has zero respect? It may
sound like a case of masochism, but I would just say it’s a long story and what appeared to be a case of the lesser of evils. How wrong I was. The day came… and it was changed twice… until it fell upon a most inconvenient and busy morning and disrupted my own work schedule. But I, somehow, found it in me to bite my tongue for the last time and change plans at the eleventh hour. The workmen turned up – but one hour late, just as I was walking out of the house as I had warned. It’s like they timed it just to see me seethe and fret. And once I rescheduled everything all over again, I saw them packing their tools and preparing to go! It was a surreal moment of incredulity. It was painful on so many fronts. It was the epitome of frustration that can probably best be understood only if the entire saga were experienced in its full and protracted glory. Apparently, a legitimate phone call to the boss to ask what time the job would be ﬁnished – a word we should hesitate to use in this case – triggered yet another attack of verbal abuse, the cutting of the phone in the client’s face and instructions to spineless employees to leave the house and a distraught owner, fully aware that she had just cancelled all her appointments once again to accommodate the service provider. Because yes, it works that way here. The best is that, after all that, I was left worse off than when I started. Not only had they not made any progress in their ﬁve-minute attempt to start ﬁxing it, but they actually messed it up more. So much for 10-year guaran-
tees. They made it clear they won’t be coming back… because that’s how it works here. The service provider calls the shots, and decides whether to do you that ‘favour’ [in exchange for money] or not. My turn now to unleash the wrath of hell upon these people, who deserve to be out of work. Or maybe not… I just got a call – on a Sunday morning – from the guy who should be stepping in to join the dots. Let’s pray he proves that a bunch of psychos may be on the loose, but they are not indispensable and that they need to get their act together to function in the professional world of work. I did have another couple of anecdotes to relate of shouting matches with people so blatantly in the wrong, who add insult to injury by failing to simply apologise and ﬁx it and, instead, proceed to attack you. But for my own sanity, I’ll just relive my latest encounter with the ‘gentleman’ who parked on a double yellow line, millimetres away from my car, effectively sandwiching it and trapping me in. I could have reported him and had him towed, but instead, I trekked round the village bars and restaurants to ﬁnd him, losing hope and ﬁnding frustration in the fact that my night was potentially ruined and my efforts to go out wasted, as the hunt progressed. When I did ﬁnd him – what are the chances – I had to deal with ridiculous excuses about not living in the area, and a slow, cigarette-smoking stroll to the square, followed by a perverse altering of reality to make it somehow seem like I had wronged him, followed by a roll of verbal abuse. Surreal! Sad! Sick!
June 19, 2016 ∫ Pink is a monthly magazine ∫ Issue 140 ∫ Executive editor Fiona Galea Debono ∫ Publisher Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Printing Progress Press Ltd ∫ Production Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Contributors Maria Cachia, Andrea Faye Christians, Edward Curmi, Claire Diacono, Mary Galea Debono, Marisa Grima, Caroline Paris, Helen Raine, Lisa Schembri, Stephanie Satariano, Virginia, Shelley Von Strunckel ∫ Design Manuel Schembri ∫ Photography Ian Attard, Justin Ciappara, Jeremy de Maria, Andre Gialanze, Matthew Mirabelli, Kurt Paris, Niels Plotard, Darrin Zammit Lupi ∫ Advertising sales Veronica Grech Sant [2559 4706; firstname.lastname@example.org].
THIS PUBLICATION IS BEING DISTRIBUTED AS PART OF:
© 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, or in part, without written permission of the publishers, is prohibited.
Pink June 2016 ∫ 9
THE LETTER THAT TICKLED PINK OVERWHELMING STORY OF LOVE Pink is colourful, exhilarating… When I open Pink, I’m taken in with the vibrant colours of the ads, the happy faces and the formidable fashion wear; the current happenings and the commercials. I ﬂit through the pages and I do so enthusiastically, turning over to the next best thing on the following page. It’s informative, exciting and so vibrant, featuring anything from cars to clothes, shoes, health and nutrition. There is enough of everything – not too much – to entice you to read the whole article and go to the next. This is Pink and there is nothing like it! But my best read in the May issue was A Mother’s Place [WomensWorld] by Helen Raine. Without going into any gruelling details of the unfortunate death of Leanne’s mother, but strongly emphasising the great loss and the devastating impact the daughter suffered, the author pounced on the opportunity that stemmed from Leanne’s next decision – that of leaving her birth home and starting a new life with her ‘replacement mother’. Helen succeeds in turning this tragedy into a positive and overwhelming story of love, dedication and genuine commitment. Leanne started out as the subject of the story, but the outstanding hero of it all is Tanya [Borg Cardona] and her family. You can see how every cloud has a silver lining in a loving environment. Well done Tanya, and well done Helen, for giving us this inspirational true story. MARIANNE PORTELLI FROM BIRZEBBUGA
The writer of the letter of the month wins a Sun di Gioia by Giorgio Armani fragrance, courtesy of Chemimart; a beauty treatment, at Chemimart Beauty Clinic, courtesy of Chemimart; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up products from A.M.Mangion Ltd.
WRITE IN AND WIN We want to hear from you. Send us your feedback on Pink and any stories that may have touched you in some way, and you stand a chance of winning a Polo Ralph Lauren Supreme Leather eau de parfum natural spray, courtesy of Chemimart; a facial, courtesy of Chemimart; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up products from A.M.Mangion Ltd. Write to Pink, with your contact details, at Allied Newspapers Ltd, 341, Strickland House, St Paul Street, Valletta VLT 1211, or send an e-mail to email@example.com Correspondence may be edited for length and clarity. If prizes are not claimed within two months, they will no longer be available.
On the eve of E V E, choreographer Rachel Calleja looks at what it means to be a woman in dance. But, she underlines, she is a human being first – before a female.
he dearth of female choreographers, or their lack of opportunities, coupled with some sort of sexism, remains an issue on an international level. Why do you think this is the case? Sexism is present in every ﬁeld, not just in dance. It’s a complex matter, inﬂuenced by many factors over a long period of time. However, one salient point is women’s ability to carry a baby in their womb, which still inﬂuences their career choices. Being a choreographer may mean travelling for long periods, or staying at the theatre till 1am and complete focus for weeks. It’s possible to have children and do this, but of course, it’s also a challenge. So the number of female choreographers is not just down to sexism; it’s also about nature and the ways we have found to adapt to it. Having said that, I also believe that those who really want to make it will make it, whether they are male or female. Many female choreographers and dancers have been driven to share important work, and they did so even in times when sexism was an obvious attitude. It’s every individual’s responsibility to guide their life in the direction they want to. Sexism can’t stand in the way of determination.
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How do you feel as one of the few and what obstacles, if any, have you faced along the way? Obstacles can even lie in others’ expectations that, as a woman, you must have kids in your prime. I feel like I’m just starting my life, but to society, I’m a 27-year-old woman and there’s a timer inside me that should be acknowledged within the next ﬁve years. People are still very traditional in this sense and I often get asked when I will stop to have kids. I think it’s important that women take decisions they are happy with, so that when they face societal pressures, they can be at ease and at peace.
While the dance world may appear to be more female-oriented in our minds, it seems to be dominated by men. What do you make of this apparent paradox? I think this paradox exists mainly because we associate dance with the aesthetic of a female dancer, both because a larger number of women pursue dance and because, in turn, this aesthetic is often gloriﬁed as a symbol of beauty, poise, elegance, or sensuality… In breakdancing, for example, I’d say people conjure up an image of a male dancer ﬁrst because we see men representing this form more often. The paradox, however, arises because men have typically
“I FEEL LIKE I’M JUST STARTING MY LIFE, BUT TO SOCIETY, I’M A 27-YEAR-OLD WOMAN AND THERE’S A TIMER INSIDE ME THAT SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED WITHIN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. PEOPLE ARE STILL VERY TRADITIONAL IN THIS SENSE AND I OFTEN GET ASKED WHEN I WILL STOP TO HAVE KIDS” What, in your own small way, can you do about it? I am a human ﬁrst and a woman second. If I listen to this human and do what feels right as opposed to what I’m told is right, I will be following my path. I believe the rest will unfold by itself.
Rachel Calleja Photography Niels Plotard
Pink June 2016 âˆ« 13
ARTYFACTS taken up leadership roles that don’t necessarily show on stage, including those of company directors and choreographers. In dance, it shows up as a paradox because we normally see such a large number of women dancing the idea of possibly one man.
What do you feel about the number of male dancers in Malta? Should more boys be encouraged to take up dance, or is it a cultural barrier that cannot be surmounted? I think dance should be accessible to all. If a boy, or a man, wishes to dance, he should be free to do so. If societal ideas about dance are what are limiting him, then he should work to free himself from these constraints. Beliefs that are limiting are present in all societies; they are surmounted every time an individual decides his will for himself. The Malta Arts Festival is offering dance lovers a feast of events throughout July. Tell us something about the upcoming programme and why it should not be missed. As a 14 ∫ Pink June 2016
“I THINK FEAR OF INADEQUACY MIGHT HOLD PEOPLE BACK FROM ATTENDING MASTERCLASSES. I USED TO BE INTIMIDATED TOO: BY THE FACT THAT THERE WOULD BE PROFESSIONAL DANCERS TEACHING ME; MUCH BETTER DANCERS IN CLASS WITH ME; THAT I WOULDN’T CATCH UP; THAT IT WASN’T MY STYLE; THAT I’M TOO YOUNG, TOO OLD, OR TOO BAD. I THINK MANY PEOPLE MAY BE HELD BACK BY SIMILAR THOUGHTS”
choreographer, what are you most looking forward to seeing and why? There are some great events coming up: Vertical Waves, Ballet Boyz, Tabula Rasa, D.O.K. by Moveo, as well as the masterclasses on offer and the Dance Hybrid, a week dance intensive, led by Peter Jasko and Regina Wielingin. I am looking forward to listening to the works of Arvo Part and PoW ensemble, watching Please, Continue [Hamlet], as well as Bandli and B’Tal-Linja Jaqbillek Zgur. I enjoy watching a bit of everything. Why do you think dance students need to be enticed to participate in the masterclasses on offer by the various performing companies? What do you think holds them back? I think fear of inadequacy might hold people back from attending masterclasses.
I used to be intimidated too: by the fact that there would be professional dancers teaching me; much better dancers in class with me; that I wouldn’t catch up; that it wasn’t my style; that I’m too young, too old, or too bad. I think many people may be held back by similar thoughts. But if you want to dance, then dance; don’t let these thoughts stop you. If you go to a class, you are going because you want to learn something; the teachers are there because they want to share something with you. That is the point of going to class; not to be the best one in it. Despite efforts to organise dance performances of a high calibre, such as those to be held in July by the Malta Arts Festival, attracting audiences is always a mission. Why do you think this is the case? Why don’t the dance
ARTYFACTS community and students attend these shows in their numbers? And why does dance in general have to ﬁght for appeal in Malta? Many factors come into play, including the fact that most people are not in the habit of watching performances for leisure and entertainment; dance is not appealing to everyone; past performances may have disappointed, discouraging future attendance; as well as money issues and ideas of social class. However, it is also important to consider that perhaps particular dance styles, such as contemporary, do not appeal to the masses. Some dance performances in Malta have had a great following, especially those with a high entertainment level. Other performances of a highly intellectual or abstract nature may not attract the same following. I think we need to be realistic about what our performance can offer and who would appreciate that offering. Who would you like to choreograph for and who would you like to choreograph with, dead or alive? To be honest, I don’t have speciﬁc
ambitions to work for speciﬁc people, or with speciﬁc people. I would like to keep my agenda as open as possible and see where the work takes me. If it takes me to many different countries and allows me to work for all sorts of awesome people, it would be a dream. I’d also love to direct a musical some day. What is Tlieta presenting? ZﬁnMalta Dance Ensemble, the national dance company, is presenting Tlieta on July 12 – a triple-bill performance by three female composers and three female choreographers. I am lucky to be one of the choreographers alongside Francesca Tranter and Athanasia Kanellopoulou. What can you tell us about your choreography, E V E? The theme of my choreography is an exploration of identity; how humans behave when they build an identity based on individuality as opposed to a collective identity. E V E presents four characters who seem to call themselves Adam, though it is never quite clear which one of them is Adam, if at all…
We see their whimsical characters unfold through their reactions to an incessant telephone call. Their story takes us on a musical journey, with laughs, craziness and a little bit of Adam for good measure. What does choreography give you that actual dancing does not? Choreography allows me to combine many of my interests into one activity. In E V E, for instance, I got to research philosophy, psychology, evolution, visual patterns, storytelling, rhythmical movement and character creation. I got to work with composer Jess Rymer and the girls of Organic Choir Malta and learnt much more about how music is communicated. I worked with the beautiful ladies of ZﬁnMalta, with whom I researched and learned about the many layers required to build a new physicality. I worked with Martina Buhagiar and Ruth Borg on the theatricality of it. It’s a multidisciplinary approach; it’s not just about dance; it’s about creating an alternative reality and then sharing it with the people who want to watch.
WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES… Opening Doors is an organisation that wants to get people with learning disabilities involved in the arts. Their inspiring programme is setting the bar high. HELEN RAINE talks to Sandra Mifsud, who has joined as artistic director, as well as some of the participants, who are seeing their showbiz dreams come true.
Photography Amanda Hsu
pening Doors hasn’t just changed the life of the participants, but also of Sandra Mifsud, who joined the organisation to help the troupe expand into dance. People with learning disabilities are sometimes overlooked in the arts, but the Opening Doors project, started by drama therapist Lou Ghirlando with a theatre group almost a decade ago, is working to change that. Today, the participants describe how dance and drama allow them to showcase their capabilities rather than their disabilities and have put them on the road
to friendships that have extended across Europe. As for Sandra, Opening Doors has given her a chance to explore her own creative process and more… What challenges did you face in developing a dance vision that would work for people with learning disabilities? I believe every beginning is a road to discovery, starting with getting to know one another and building trust between leaders and participants. As with other artistic groups, the initial goal is pretty straightforward – to establish trust, focus and Pink June 2016 ∫ 19
ARTYFACTS commitment within the group, with the aim of tapping into each individual’s creativity. Once the group is on your side and feels ready to embark on the creative journey, that’s when the exciting work starts. I was lucky to have a great support team to help lead the sessions. That support is important when leading classes within the disability sector, to ensure full engagement and participation and also to provide a safe environment. Opening Doors creates work for participants to perform alone on stage without direction from teachers. We started off by preparing our members for a short and poignant 10-minute piece called Il-Holm, performed at St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.
What have been the group’s greatest successes? This year, Opening Doors had one main objective: to develop a full-length production, which, for the ﬁrst time, integrated the three core groups: music, theatre and dance. The ﬁnal work, called Ahdar id-Dezert, was performed last month with
How do you approach rehearsals at Opening Doors? Essentially, the brief is the same as any other rehearsal, but within this sector, one needs to give much more attention to the ethical considerations of leading a vulnerable group; there is a greater element of responsibility in attending to the needs of each individual. We have to try and ﬁnd the ‘language’ that can facilitate this. The dance group is currently made up of 10 people, with varying levels
“ I AM WORKING WITH A TEAM OF WONDERFUL ARTISTS… WITH SMALL EGOS AND HUGE HEARTS AND MINDS… THAT’S THE SORT OF PERSON I WANT TO BE SPENDING MY WORKING TIME WITH, SO I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER”
of independence and communication skills, so clear communication is key. The aspect of teacher/artist and student/performer relationship requires and deserves time for development and is an essential part of the process. What does it mean to you to be involved in this organisation? It means a lot. Opening Doors has given me a chance to explore my own creative process as well as experience the true meaning of devising works. It has also given me the great thrill that every teacher values – witnessing the development and achievement of the individual members of the group. This results in a strong team of performers and friends, understanding and respecting each other’s strengths and weaknesses, both personally and artistically. This growth is very evident from one performance to the next. Sometimes, I am happy to say, even from one rehearsal to another. I am working with a team of wonderful artists… with small egos and huge hearts and minds… That’s the sort of person I want to be spending my working time with, so I couldn’t be happier! 20 ∫ Pink June 2016
28 performers. I am happy to say it was a great success! The group also performed at the European Disability Arts Festival, hosted in Malta last June, a culmination of the ART-is and the Creative Ways projects, both funded by the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, Grundtvig. In the last two years, these projects have given opportunities for some members of the theatre and dance groups to travel to various European cities and to share practice with other like-minded associations. What are your plans for the future? The plan for the coming year is to tour Ahdar id-Dezert and continue to develop it on a creative level, while further empowering the members to take full ownership of the work. The tours will take place at day services to promote Opening Doors and potentially recruit and provide artistic opportunities to a wider audience. We would also like to develop a repertoire of short works with different artists from within Opening Doors and also collaborations with other artists. We plan to continue developing relationships with international groups. In the long term, Opening Doors aims to create an integrated ensemble of performers with mixed abilities to perform on more established platforms locally and eventually internationally.
What are the challenges for your group in travelling to other countries? As with any group, having the right member-support ratio is important to ensure safety and full engagement in the travel experience, both artistically and personally, and to maximise enjoyment. It requires careful planning. But such trips strengthen relationships and help build the organisation’s collective experience. The group always comes back with memorable anecdotes.
SARA POLIDANO Sara has been a member of Opening Doors for eight years. She was a member of the drama group until last year when she chose to take a break from performing and enjoy a leadership role, assisting Andrea Grancini with the drama group and supporting Opening Doors on an organisational and production level. Sara is also a board member. She says that when she joined, she felt “challenged and quite scared… But then I got used to it and also learned to enjoy it”. The group has helped her with communication skills, and when she’s on stage, she now feels “amazing”. In 2010, she was given a main role, playing the lion in Iljun Ikkonvertit. “I had to attend many long rehearsals, some of which were one to one… to help me focus and learn my lines. One-to-one rehearsals are important because you get individual attention and I was able to achieve more.” Sara’s most memorable experience was the group trip to Belgium. “I still have friends I’m in touch with from that trip,” she says. In the future, she wants to see the organisation “open up to more people, like children and people without disability”.
Sa ra Poli dano
Ju sti n Sp iteri
ef all Sarah Mic
What kind of response do you get from the audience? Opening Doors has always strived to put up performances of high artistic and production value thanks to our funders, including Malta Arts Fund, Premju talPresident ghall-Kreattività and Voices Foundation. However, I feel what appeals most to our varied audiences is the honesty and authenticity of our work. Although these elements are made possible by the artists who direct the work, they exist only thanks to the commitment, creativity and performance skills of our performers and their ownership of the work. We have a repeat audience, who follows our work from year to year; it is interesting to receive positive feedback from them about the development of the individual members of our groups the further we progress.
How were you received abroad? The arts and disability sector is characteristically open and accessible; our experiences conﬁrmed that this is true in every country we have visited. Artists, carers, managers, administrators, organisers and performers working in the ﬁeld are always very excited to connect, share stories, experiences and create new memories. Collaboration and sharing are at the heart of this work.
mi Mark Zam ut aja r
RYAN AL MADANI Ryan joined Opening Doors in October 2015 and has a passion for percussion. He gives an emphatic “yes” when asked if he likes performing and adds “tanbur” while demonstrating his percussion moves.
la cil Pris
SARAH MICALLEF AND MARK ZAMMIT CUTAJAR Sarah and Mark both joined Opening Doors in October 2015. “We love playing drums… we love playing music… we love playing drama… we love singing… and we love doing shows with everyone… with our friends.” PRISCILLA VELLA Priscilla joined the drama group in 2008. “I act. I love meeting my friends. I travel. And I sing and dance. I love drama.”
Sp ite ri
Photography Jeremy de Maria
When is the next show? We are currently planning a series of activities and performances at Spazju Kreattiv, celebrating World Disability Week, which will be launched on December 3. This is part of Opening Doors’ collaborative agreement with Fondazzjoni Centru Ghall-Kreattività. Opening Doors is in a good place, and will also keep going places; follow us on Facebook – we are very active.
JUSTIN SPITERI Justin has been a member of Opening Doors’ drama group since 2013 and is the vice-president of the organisation. He is interested in starting dance this year. Justin is a keen actor on stage as well as on TV. He says that, at the beginning, he was “excited to start a new experience with different people. It became like a family… where I can show my creativity and my work. You have to be flexible in drama, ready for anything, for different roles”. For Justin, the group has helped improve his “eye contact, thinking processes and speech” and that being on stage is “another world”. He has had several roles and says he likes both comical and serious parts. “I play with expression. I watch a lot of plays – a lot of roles. I’d like to do a play about Maltese writers and I would want to be the main actor.” In Ahdar id-Dezert, he played “the old man, a farmer, but I played him young at heart – more energised. I sang L-Ahhar Bidwi F’Wied il-Ghasel – it was my second time singing. The first song was Xemx Wisq Sabiha by The Tramps”. Justin also points to trips abroad as his most memorable experience, saying that he enjoyed Poland and Turkey; “especially Turkey because we met Malta’s national football team at the airport”.
ANDRIA SPITERI Andria joined the dance group in 2014. “I like dancing a lot… because it’s nice.” When asked why she likes to perform, she gives a telling answer: “To be seen.”
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QUEEN OF THE POOR MARY GALEA DEBONO introduces 19thcentury philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts, one of the wealthiest women in Europe and a great benefactress.
esidents of Angela Road, Burdett Road and Baroness Road in London’s East End may not be aware that there is a connection between these street names. All are named after Angela Burdett-Coutts, a 19th-century philanthropist, who spent a lot of her time, energy and wealth setting up projects for housing, education and child care for the poor in what was then a squalid slum area. Apart from a simple memorial with the dates of her birth and death  by the west door of Westminster Abbey, where she is buried, these street names are the only tribute to the work of this great benefactress. Angela was the granddaughter of the wealthy banker Thomas Coutts, who had married his housemaid Susannah Starkey – a minor detail, which, nevertheless, Angela chose to keep in mind. When Susannah died, Thomas married a young actress, Harriot Mellon, in whose
judgment he had such complete faith that he entrusted the handling of the succession of his banking business after his death to her. Harriot was a perspicacious woman; she studied the members of the Coutts family and came to the conclusion that the one endowed with the required sense of responsibility and, therefore, best qualiﬁed to fulﬁll this role was the quiet, calm and composed granddaughter Angela. The inheritance, at the age of 23, of half the shares of Coutts Bank, with whom the royal family had been banking since
was known from the moment she inherited the bank. To start with, there were her siblings, who were not very happy with the way all the wealth had gone to her. Angela solved the unpleasant situation by settling a yearly allowance on each one of them. But the prestigious position and the wealth that came with it had deeper consequences. Already by nature a reserved person, she now also felt emotionally isolated. Her only female companion and friend was her childhood governess Hannah Meredith, who remained a great inﬂuence on her life. Although when Hannah married William Brown in 1844, she continued to support her, the separation was a great loss to Angela, especially since this came soon after the death of, ﬁrst, her mother and, a few weeks later, her father. To combat her loneliness, Angela did what people of her class did in those times; she took refuge in the protective world of watering places, where being an invalid was an excuse for being cared for. This should not imply that Angela was a weak and vulnerable woman; deep down, there were great reserves of hidden energy and moral strength, which people who collaborated with her soon found out and came to appreciate. She was a competent administrator as well as a benevolent employer. She did not run away from tackling problems; she listened to advice, but was independent enough not to shy away from sticking to her convictions and taking decisions she believed were necessary. It is these traits that made her use her inﬂuence to improve the conditions of the employees in the bank by raising their salaries, shortening their working hours and improving their conditions even when her partners objected to such changes. Angela was a religious person and she ﬁrmly believed that her wealth was God-given and that it was her duty to use it in God’s service. Charity workers
“ANGELA WAS A RELIGIOUS PERSON AND SHE FIRMLY BELIEVED THAT HER WEALTH WAS GOD-GIVEN AND THAT IT WAS HER DUTY TO USE IT IN GOD’S SERVICE” the days of George III, made Angela one of the wealthiest women in Europe. Wealth brought many suitors but little happiness to Angela Coutts as she
in Victorian times were sometimes criticised because they were often motivated by a desire to hobnob with persons of a higher social standing, or because it Pink June 2016 ∫ 23
WOMANKIND gave them space to enjoy bossing others. But Angela’s desire to help the needy sprang from a genuine belief that she had a mission to fulﬁll. She understood the nature of poverty and its link with vice and so her drive to eradicate it encompassed various aspects of life. Neither did she just hand out the money and let others do the work; she involved herself personally, without expecting any praise, and she abhorred publicity. In her book Lady Unknown, author Edna Healy describes Angela as a woman whose “charity was given with style, without condescending and with kindness”. Her biggest charity schemes were carried out in London’s East End, where people lived in abject poverty. There, she built St Stephen’s Church, which Healy describes as “a church which would care for more than souls. It was to be a centre for education and social work, a practical demonstration of working Christianity”. She set up Westminster Training College, thus introducing vocational training, and in Columbia Square in Bethnal Green, she built airy blocks of tenements, which were a model of social housing to replace the squalid slums. In her father’s drawing room, she had had the opportunity to meet a cross section of the key ﬁgures of 19th-century England; scientists like Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage and Charles Wheatstone; politicians like William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli; men of letters like Henry Irving, Matthew Arnold and Samuel Rogers. They were all a source of inspiration for her work, which included a wide range of ﬁelds. It was she who ﬁrst lent support to cancer research and helped found Brompton Cancer Hospital, now the Royal Marsden, and she also ﬁnanced research in botany and geology. One must also keep in mind that this was the age of Empire building. Angela’s interest in the colonies went beyond founding bishoprics, building schools and opening hospitals. She also backed David Livingstone’s Zambesi expedition as well as Henry Stanley’s search for this explorer when he was feared lost. In her charity work, Angela found immense support from Charles Dickens, himself a committed social reformer. They had met in 1838, and by 1843, he felt he knew her well enough to be able to ask her for ﬁnancial support for the Ragged Schools, which were set up to help the 24 ∫ Pink June 2016
for her money were especially important for her and when, in February of 1847, he paid her a visit, she proposed marriage. Angela was 33 and the Duke 78. He gently refused, but they remained friends and he continued to be her escort on social occasions. When he died in 1852, the public treated her as if she were his widow.
“ACCORDING TO HER GRANDFATHER’S WILL, SINCE BARTLETT WAS A FOREIGNER, MARRYING HIM MEANT THAT SHE HAD TO FORFEIT THE RIGHT TO HER INHERITANCE, BUT NOTHING AND NO ONE COULD CHANGE HER MIND” education of the very poor. This project did not attract the support of “fashionable philanthropists” but he knew that Angela was different. She continued to help these schools till the end of her life. Dickens directed her charitable projects and advised and kept a watchful eye over her. One of the projects they set up together was a home for prostitutes – around London alone, there were 80,000 of them, some very young. Their intention was to treat the girls with compassion, rehabilitate them and help them make a fresh start in life in the colonies. It was an ambitious undertaking; the girls were diﬃcult and matrons hard to ﬁnd. They struggled with the diﬃculties for 10 years, but when Dickens’ own marriage came to an end in 1857, the scandal made it impossible for him to continue his work, and by 1867, the House for Homeless Women had closed down. But even before this happened, Dickens, who dedicated one of his books, Martin Chuzzlewit, to her, had been eclipsed by another elderly gentleman, who had entered Angela’s life. In 1843, when the famous author was away in Switzerland, she had problems with the partners at the bank and she went to Apsley House to seek advice from the Duke of Wellington whom she already knew and whose opinion she esteemed. The Duke, a courteous man in his 70s, had lost his power in politics and, with time on his hands, he was more than willing to make himself useful to this young woman. They soon became steadfast friends, writing to each other daily when they were apart. Although he did not share her enthusiasm for social reform, he assumed the role of counsellor. She listened to him, but did not always take his advice. His solicitude and the fact that he liked her for herself and not
Angela did marry in 1881; she was then 68. She married William Ashmead Bartlett [pictured with her], whose widowed American mother, whom she had earlier met in Torquay, she had supported by paying for the son’s education. Years later, Angela had taken Bartlett on a Mediterranean cruise, and in 1877, when she organised the Turkish Compassionate Fund after the Russian massacre, she had appointed him in charge of the organisation to oversee the loading and distribution of supplies. According to her grandfather’s will, since Bartlett was a foreigner, marrying him meant that she had to forfeit the right to her inheritance, but nothing and no one could change her mind. Queen Victoria wrote in her journal: “That poor foolish old woman Lady BurdettCoutts was presented on her marriage with Mr Bartlett 40 years younger than herself. She looked like his grandmother and was all decked out with jewels – not edifying.” Disraeli’s remarks were even more scathing. He wrote to the Queen: “The element of the ridiculous has now so deeply entered into her career that even her best friends can hardly avoid a smile by a sigh.” The ﬁrst years of marriage were happy, but Bartlett had extravagant hobbies, spent money carelessly and was ﬂirtatious. Not all Angela’s projects were a success. Nevertheless Baroness Coutts’ lasting legacy to society was acknowledged by everyone. Apart from being the ﬁrst woman to be made baroness in her own right, she was honoured by the London guilds and the Sultan of Turkey. Doubtlessly, the tribute that she would have appreciated most was the demonstration of genuine love from the ordinary citizens, who ﬁled past her coﬃn to pay their respects to the Queen of the Poor.
CLUTTERFREE COMBOS GOING FOR THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE Photography Andre Gialanze Styling Marisa Grima [www.marisagrima.com] Hair Lisa Schembri, Screen Team Malta Make-up Lisa Schembri, using Max Factor Models Daniela and Michela @ Supernovamodel.com Location Immagine Casa
Michela wears top, €51; skirt, €95; bag, €29, all Warehouse ∫ shoes, €29.99, Bershka.
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SHOWSTOPPER Michela wears top, €86; skirt, €129, both Warehouse.
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SHOWSTOPPER Daniela wears dress, €255; shoes, €230, both Karen Millen.
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SHOWSTOPPER Daniela wears dress, €179; trainers, €218. Michela wears top, €229; jeans, €159; shoes, €159, all Liu Jo.
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SHOWSTOPPER Daniela wears top, €84; jeans, €64; shoes, €68, all Miss Selfridge. Michela wears dress, €150, Miss Selfridge ∫ shoes, €230, Karen Millen.
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SHOWSTOPPER Daniela wears top, €49.95; shorts, €14.95; shoes, €23.95, all Lulu Boutique.
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SHOWSTOPPER Michela wears jacket, €64.50; top, €36.50; jeans, €38.50, all M&Co ∫ shoes, €29.99, Bershka.
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Spotted @ pink While watching the best seasonal trends on the catwalk of The Pink Fashion Show, fashion blogger and stylist CAROLINE PARIS also scouted around to spot the best trends off the catwalk.
n the night of The Pink Fashion Show, Kurt Paris and I were busy ordering stylish guests to stand to attention, smile and wave at a camera, whether they wished to, or not. Once you’ve spent time reporting on street style at international fashion weeks, it sometimes feels as though it’s just impossible to get the same experience in Malta. Although the Maltese have traditionally always been quite fashionable, there don’t seem to be too many adventurous souls nowa-
days. So I was delighted to have my expectations surpassed at The Pink Fashion Show – there were so many good outﬁts, it was actually really hard to select just a few. So let’s break down some of the spotted trends.
It SUITS you First of all, I was overjoyed to see women wearing culottes and trouser suits – deﬁnitive style brownie points earned there. Many women still feel like it is mandatory to wear a dress to an event, but it isn’t the case at all: a well-
tailored suit can look much more elegant than a dress.
[Flat] Foot Candy There was also some real foot candy around, with some great ﬂats, mainly worn by the men. But even some women opted for interesting options. I myself went for a pair of heels, which, by the end of the night, had worn my poor feet out. So maybe I should have gone for ﬂats too. I also spotted a pair of really interesting chunky heels – what we should all be wearing this summer. Pink June 2016 ∫ 39
THEUNIFORM And then there were the ubiquitous sexy stilettos of course.
Black is BLACK I was somewhat surprised to see quite a lot of women wearing black outﬁts. Yes, I know that black is in vogue and it’s also a fail-safe colour, but in summer, here in Malta, we generally tend to be a colourful bunch, especially on sunny days. Having said that, it does look great, especially on tanned skin. I may need to rethink wearing more black this summer.
Roberta Stivala Robert Agius
Short & warm Another style point I picked up on was the idea of wearing a short jacket over a summer outﬁt – perfect for chilly summer nights by the beach.
Beneﬁts of braids On the hair side of things, I deﬁnitely need to give a mention to the braid style I spotted. Braids have remained a major trend this season. I deﬁnitely think that, together with other interesting upstyles, they need to be used more here. They’re absolutely perfect for ensuring hair remains looking snazzy on a humid night and, simply put, they’re interesting 40 ∫ Pink June 2016
Marisa Grima Marquita Kemper
And ﬁnally You may have spotted the discrepancy in seasonal attire. If I hadn’t been to this event myself and just saw these images, what would really have grabbed my attention
would have been the fact that there were people wearing jackets and others in full-on summer mode. Whichever way you look at it, someone must have been suffering for their fashion cause. Photography Kurt Paris
Shards of Glass
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FASHION [FOOT] FORWARD Step into interior designer DÉSIRÉE AZZOPARDI’s shoes as she herself steps into the world of fashion, leaving her creative mark on footwear. It’s all about the power of personalising; about custom-made over mass production for that individual touch that has your name on it.
ow much and in what way have your parents inﬂuenced your line of work, your father being an architect and your mother an art teacher? How important do you think their impact on your work choices was and what would you be doing if you were born to someone else? Greatly inﬂuenced, without a shadow of a doubt! Starting off with the house I’ve lived in for the past 20 years, designed by my dad; it’s full of queer angles and interesting shapes and triangles. Subconsciously, I’m sure this affected me, being exposed to these odd creative forms every day. My mother, on the other hand, apart from being an art teacher, in her free time sits in her sewing room and adds and removes interesting things onto clothes, jackets, bags, frames and whatever happens to cross her path. Whether it’s ribbon, lace, buttons, ﬁgurines, pottery, she modiﬁes things, upcycles old materials and broken objects and gives them a new lease of life. She also used to give pottery
classes at home to children in the neighbourhood during the summer months. Our basement would be transformed into a buzzing hub of happy children, letting their creative juices ﬂow, making their own items to proudly take back to their parents. So yes, I do believe they both left their own mark on me unknowingly. However, they never interfered in my choice of subjects at school and left me very free to choose my own path. In terms of being selfemployed, I completely copied my father. He loved his job, and we often described him as a slight workaholic. I deﬁnitely took after him here. Being employed, I had found, used to stiﬂe my creativity. I would much rather spend this one life I have doing what makes me happy and fulﬁlling my own passion and dream than someone else’s. If I were born to someone else, I’d probably be doing whatever I may have been exposed to as a child. I do believe a lot in the butterﬂy effect; it’s only natural, I guess. You are a full-time interior designer. At what point and why did you also switch to fashion and your canvas become shoes? I’ve always loved fashion and anything related to design and creativity. A few years ago, I launched a collection of hand-painted, washable scatter cushions. I also used to paint and exhibit my works in various places. Over a year ago now, I was going through some changes and had just returned from a long trip – I ﬁnd travel extremely inspiring. I returned to Malta feeling a bit empty and refused to go back to the norm. I was looking for something new and exciting; something that would fulﬁll me. It was then that it came to me to modify and personalise my own shoes. From there, I dived head-ﬁrst into months of extensive research and experimentation to create designs that are long-lasting and durable on various types of shoes through different processes. The idea took off when people repeatedly began giving me their shoes to jazz up. From that point on, it became a love affair more than a business. Pink June 2016 ∫ 43
FASHIONSTORY You recently launched your ﬁrst collection of modiﬁed Aldo shoes at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Malta. How would you describe the collection in a nutshell? What is the concept behind these 10 pairs? I believe shoes – just like the other things we personalise, including mobile phones, cars, interiors and clothes – should also be an expression of our own style and personality. For this reason, the collection was based around different personalities, with each pair illustrating a person.
Free-spirited With Added Fairy Dust
Can every shoe be modiﬁed in this way and what is the starting point; when you are about to draw freehand on a pair? No, not all shoes can be modiﬁed. I don’t work on satin and some types of suedes. I also don’t work on thin strappy sandals since there is not much surface to work on. The ideal shoes to customise are plain and don’t have any decor on them – no patterns, glitter, studs, textures, etc��� A plain canvas is ideal. I always start with the main section and work my way out into the other parts of the shoe.
What is it about customising things and the idea of something being unique that seems to excite people no end? When people buy something off the shelf, they are as different as the other million who bought the same object around the world. Mass production can never compete with anything exclusive. When you own an object designed solely for you, it’s always a cut above the massproduced version. The feeling is completely different. This was explained to me by a client of mine after receiving a surprise pair of personalised shoes.
“WHEN PEOPLE BUY SOMETHING OFF THE SHELF, THEY ARE AS DIFFERENT AS THE OTHER MILLION WHO BOUGHT THE SAME OBJECT AROUND THE WORLD” What about a conservative person? How would you customise their shoes without putting them off ? The approach I use for both interiors and shoes is always the same, regardless of the style of the person. The aim is to create something that reﬂects them while giving it my touch. Therefore, I ﬁrst analyse their style, personality, likes and dislikes to get a feel of what may reﬂect them, and then I go about planning and designing. Generally, a conservative person would choose something a bit more subtle and subdued, yet still stylish, classy and different. It all depends on the person’s tastes, really; perhaps their initials only, or a motif that means something to them. It’s based on the same reasoning of a person getting a tattoo done; it may not mean anything to someone else, but it reﬂects who they are. Since your goal is for people to be able to identify themselves with their shoes and for the latter to be a reﬂection of their innermost self, if you had to 44 ∫ Pink June 2016
Free-spirited: As the name suggests, this detailed pair describes a woman who is wild, untamed and free. She is random and unpredictable. She will go to unfathomable lengths to chase her dream. She knows no limits. She does not live up to anyone’s expectations. She keeps no track of others. She will run like the wind till she ﬁnds her satisfaction. She does not settle. She does not give up. She is a rolling stone on the pursuit of happiness.
draw on your own, what would it be? Very diﬃcult question… Designing an interior or a pair of shoes for myself is the hardest. I am my worst client. I like everything and I like nothing at the same time. It would probably include metallic gold in terms of colour… But that’s about as far as I know! You also like your work to complement the original shape and style of the shoe. How do you make sure you achieve that? I ﬁrst begin with the style of the shoe, plan a concept that complements this; then, taking the shape of the shoe, I plan the layout of the design in a way that would enhance the cut by creating accents. The process is the same as when you apply make-up and want to emphasise features like cheek bones. At the same time, I pick colours that match the shoe and are easy to match with various outﬁts. The shoes have a name and a story. Tell us one.
Have you considered customising other fashion items, or using your art in other ways? Yes! The next step is to customise bags, providing clients with both shoes and a bag to match. When it comes to dressing up, how important are shoes on a scale of one to 10? Some say your shoes are the ﬁrst thing people notice. I would say 10! What shoes would you not be seen dead in? Crocs [with or without white kneelength socks]. When can a pair of shoes break an outﬁt? When they break the line of the body and do not complement the shape and cut of the clothes. However, in the world of fashion, odd things also become trends, which some people follow blindly. I also think that having a pattern on your shoes and on your clothes can sometimes do more harm than good. Shoes should never have to compete with an outﬁt for attention – it’s either one or the other. Photography Justin Ciappara Photography
PINK@THEPARTY The Pink Fashion Show, a Times of Malta event @ Villa Rosa, St Julian’s, featuring Boux Avenue, Harmont & Blaine, Ipanema, M&Co, Oasis, Oysho, Rebelli, Trussardi Jeans; sponsored by Campari, Carolina Herrera, Delicia Catering, Diet Kinnie, Guerlain, Head & Shoulders, O’hea Opticians, Magnum, Renault, Romano Cassar florists, Scholl Foothealth Centre, Screen Team Malta, Vichy. Photographers Jonathan Brincat, Michael Calleja, Keith Gibson, Melanie Farrugia, Kurt Paris, Ron Kerr, Chris Sant Fournier, Mark Soler, Antonella Vella, Darrin Zammit Lupi.
Behind the scenes and more… Photography Kurt Paris
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Make-up by Guerlain
Romano Cassar florists
Head & Shoulders
Hair by Screen Team Malta
Scholl Foothealth Centre
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Harmont & Blaine
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Cabinet of creativity I
Luke Azzopardi’s captivating couture collection, The Opium Addict, is bound to have you hooked.
t was like stepping and sinking into an impressionist painting at the launch of Luke Azzopardi’s haute couture 2016/2017 collection, The Opium Addict, showcasing nine one-off works of art, using complex hand-ﬁnishing techniques. The Luke Azzopardi studio and its partners journeyed into an East-meetsWest blend of 19th-century Victoriana, complemented with a stylistic nod to the 1960s, transporting overwhelmed guests with them. The nine pieces were unveiled in Valletta’s ﬁtting curiosity-shop-like camilleriparismode – which made for a most enchanting vetrina – in the whimsical format of a live cabinet of 52 ∫ Pink June 2016
curiosities. And a veritable ‘wonder room’ it was indeed. Static and poised, the model mannequins created an intricate tableau in the conﬁned space, allowing guests to get up close and personal and scrutinise
In The Opium Addict, the Luke Azzopardi woman ﬂaunts this hybrid aesthetic, composed of a mixture of High Victorian silhouettes and orientalism in an array of prints, velvets and handbeaded nets.
“THE MISSION REMAINS TO PUSH ARTISANAL DESIGN AS A SELFSUSTAINABLE LOCAL INDUSTRY THROUGH CONCEPT-BASED FASHION THAT EMBRACES BEAUTY, INDIVIDUALITY AND STYLE” the elaborate designs, rich fabrics and exquisite details of the dresses. The nine pieces draw their references from the aesthetic movements of Chinoiserie and Japonism that ﬁnd their roots in the 19th century, when Europe was trading opium with the Far East.
The project seeks to continue establishing Luke Azzopardi as a Maltese luxury brand name, creating “exclusive couture one-off pieces of elevated aesthetic proportions”. The studio focuses on the idea of timeless elegance; it reﬂects the sense
THINKPINK HEALTH & BEAUTY
THE SCENT OF FREEDOM Air di Gioia is dedicated to the element of air and is aimed at the free, unpredictable woman. The new release evokes a sensation of the scent of freedom. It consists of a salt accord in the opening of the composition, a floral heart of lush peony, and a woody and sharp base of patchouli and cypress. Giorgio Armani fragrances are exclusively distributed by Chemimart [2149 2212].
ONLY THE BRAVE Only The Brave Extreme by Diesel is an oriental, woody fragrance for men. Top notes are lemon, mandarin orange and apple; middle notes are leather, rose and coriander; base notes are labdanum, styrax and tonka bean. Diesel fragrances are exclusively distributed by Chemimart [2149 2212].
BLOGGER PARTY Revlon Malta recently invited local beauty and fashion bloggers to discover the wonderful world of Revlon Colour Cosmetics. The Revlon Blogger Party was held at Palazzo Castelletti, Rabat, which was further embellished by striking images of Revlon ambassadors. The event started with a presentation by Giselle Balzan Demajo and Michaela Gambina, who talked the guests through a short history of the Revlon brand heritage, and followed with product information on the current top sellers and a sneak preview of whatâ€™s to come. Guests then experimented with the Revlon products, while enjoying a brunch and networking.
THE SENSITIVE SKIN SOLUTION Sensitive skin needs delicate strength to soothe and defend it against aggressors. La Solution 10 de Chanel is comforting skincare, especially formulated by Chanel Research for naturally sensitive or temporarily sensitive skin. Composed of 10 ingredients, its formula has been created with deliberate simplicity for optimal skin tolerance and effectiveness. At the heart of the formula is the exceptional triple power of the rarest and most precious white tea: Silver Needle. Gentle and comforting, La Solution 10 de Chanel helps normalise sensitive skin. Chanel is distributed by Alfred Gera & Sons Ltd.
of an aestheticism that is researched and applied. The mission remains to push artisanal design as a self-sustainable local industry through concept-based fashion that embraces beauty, individuality and style. Photography Ian Attard
For 20 years, people have chosen Restylane to alleviate wrinkles and for facial contouring. When Restylane first received European approval in 1996, the main options for facial reshaping were surgical. Today, Restylane has been used in over 20 million aesthetic treatments worldwide, meaning it has seen its success on the faces of millions of people. Nowadays, aesthetic treatments with Restylane fillers and Restylane Skinboosters are much more common. Unlike surgery, they are not permanent and treatments rarely take more than 30 minutes. After a Restylane filler treatment, immediate results are evident. Visit RestylaneMalta on Facebook for local clinics and practitioners that use Restylane. Pink June 2016 âˆŤ 53
THE MAN BEHIND THE MAKE-UP Max Factor is not just a brand; it’s also the name of the man who coined the word ‘make-up’. Over its 100-year history, the brand has become synonymous with the creativity of cosmetics and Hollywood stars… down to every single woman out there.
n Hollywood’s Golden Age, when it came to make-up, only one name was on the lips of the silver screen stars. That name was Mr Max Factor, a visionary makeup artist, wig maker and inventor, who was known for creating the signature looks of the era’s most famous icons such as Ava Gardner, Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich. But he also believed that glamour should be within reach of all women.
for a glamorous but realistic look on screen. In 1916, he started selling eye shadow and eyebrow pencils. This was the ﬁrst time such products were available outside the movie industry. Four years later, he launched a full range of cosmetics, calling it ‘’makeup’’ – a word he coined. The make-up products and techniques Max Factor created for the movie industry and his Hollywood
“MAX FACTOR PUT THESE TRANSFORMING TOOLS FOR MAKE-UP ARTISTRY INTO THE HANDS OF EVERY WOMAN, ENABLING HER TO CREATE HER OWN PERSONAL GLAMOUR STATEMENT EVERY DAY” Born in Russia, he emigrated in 1904 to the US, settling in LA to be closer to the budding ﬁlm industry. Word of his expertise quickly spread and he was soon working with Hollywood’s leading ﬁlm stars and making his own cosmetic products
clients earned him an Oscar. But his guiding philosophy was that any woman could be glamourous given the right tools and make-up artistry skills. From mascara to foundation, eye shadow to lip gloss, Max Factor put these transforming tools for make-up
artistry into the hands of every woman, enabling her to create her own personal glamour statement every day. Hailed as a pioneer of cosmetics, he developed the concept of make-up as we know it and invented many of the products that are commonplace today. Not only that; his inﬂuence lives on in so many ways, from scientiﬁc innovation to the role of beauty consultants to make-up artistry and even to the use of celebrity endorsements. Max Factor is still referred to as the father of modern-day make-up products and techniques. As early as the 1920s, the business launched ground-breaking inventions such as lip gloss and eye shadow, in addition to pivotal thinking on colour theories, with the latter still inﬂuencing the best of make-up artistry. Today’s top make-up artists can all trace the origins of their craft to Max Factor. A true creative genius, celebrated by Hollywood starlets such as Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis, he worked hard at this craft, continually developing new application techniques – many of which are still used. Today, the legendary make-up artist, Pat McGrath, leads the Max Factor Network of Make-up Artists, a global network of top make-up artists from around the world, who continue to create glamorous and on-trend looks using Max Factor products and pro-artistry techniques. Pink June 2016 ∫ 55
THINKPI FASHION, EVENTS & HINS
MEET ME IN LA
EXQUISITE AND SOPHISTICATED Designed with careful attention to detail, the new Daniel Wellington Dapper 34mm is an exquisite and sophisticated watch that brings timeless elegance to mind. Available in silver and rose gold and compatible with a range of elegant leather straps, this alluring 34mm watch is made to suit every mood. The eggshell white dial is enriched with deep blue hands, Roman numerals and a date display, making it an excellent addition to any wardrobe. Coveted for its discrete yet captivating design, the Dapper 34mm is a statement of true timeless style. Daniel Wellington wristwatches are available from all Sunlab and VIP outlets.
United by the spirit of wanderlust, and as part of its new campaign, Vogue eyewear is giving the chance to a lucky winner and a friend to win a free trip, including tickets and accommodation, to Los Angeles, California, when they purchase Vogue sunglasses or optical frames from one of the oﬃcial outlets. Be the ﬁrst to experience the new Light and Shine Collection that offers contrasting colours, providing a twist on modern and classic shapes. Don’t miss out on this great travel opportunity. For participating outlets, visit vogue-eyewear.com.mt; send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call on 2381 1100.
LEAVING A MARK A STYLISH ADORNMENT New York-based women’s wear designer Wes Gordon has collaborated with Silhouette on a collection of elegant, sophisticated sunglasses, featuring one signature style available in ﬁve captivating colours: nude, brown, classic grey, classic green and ocean blue. Each circular lens is meticulously crafted from a single piece of glass that is hand-sanded around the perimeter, then needle-painted with a contrast colour – a new technique that Silhouette is debuting with this collection. The result is a combination of retro glamour and expressive futurism. Designed to amplify a woman’s personal style and sense of conﬁdence, these ultra-light frames serve as a stylish adornment. For further details, contact O’hea Opticians, 191, The Strand, Gzira, on 2131 5590. www.oheaopticians.com
Malta’s business industry depends heavily on micro-enterprises, be they family owned, small startups, or semi-established. It is a competitive ﬁeld in which micro-enterprises strive to give their business a distinguishing advantage, while keeping their business fresh and innovative. The registration of a trademark is an important step for any business. However, there is a misconception that trademarks are only for large, established companies. The biggest advantage of registering a trademark is that a company’s name and products are ensured protection. By creating a trademark that differentiates a product or service from those of competitors, a business acquires a unique and exclusive right to own an identity. A strong, distinctive trademark also opens up new paths for business owners to market their products both locally and abroad. For information on how to protect and register a trademark in Malta, visit www.commerce.gov.mt. To register a trademark in the EU, visit www.euipo.europa.eu
UPDATED APP Oysho is updating its app, allowing customers to enjoy an improved shopping experience: new design, more intuitive, practical and easy to use. The new Oysho app has improved features so content can be accessed in a more agile, convenient and secure way. It allows for the tracking of the status of all orders, making queries and discovering the latest news. Also, if a size is out of stock in an Oysho store, the scan function can be used to check if it is available online and the item bought using the app. It is an e-shop that reﬂects the look and feel of Oysho, recreating the concept of its physical stores. The new app features a menu clearly displaying Oysho’s product lines: lingerie, sleepwear, gym and beachwear, accessories and footwear. This new app format has been implemented to provide a more intuitive and dynamic structure, with quality visual displays, making it easy for anyone to use. www.oysho.com
JET SET GLAMOUR Michael Kors Eyewear combines the American designer’s signature sense of jet set glamour and unfailing eye for luxury. Available in both optical and sun, the Michael Kors Eyewear Collection ranges from cat-eye to aviators and from oversized to understated, infusing innovative materials like reﬂective lenses and one-of-a-kind tortoise frames with details like the brand’s signature logo charm. Each pair is irresistibly chic, evoking the unique sensibility of the brand and incorporating rich accents from the designer’s runway collections. The entire Michael Kors Eyewear line showcases styles that are as sophisticated as they are indulgent, and as timeless as they are modern. Available at leading optical and sun shops, call on 2381 1500, or send an e-mail to email@example.com for more information.
MADLIENA LODGE UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT For years, Madliena Cottage enjoyed a reputation as one of Malta’s top restaurants. Now, the concept that made it a winner in the ﬁrst place has been reintroduced, bringing the personality of the restaurant back to life again – the traditions that surround it have been revived, while giving it a contemporary look and feel. The very soul and identity of Madliena Lodge is what makes it different from other venues. It is the ‘people’s’ restaurant. The priority remains to serve good food in an amazing ambience. On a practical level, an additional perk is the surrounding car park. Madliena Lodge has many sides to its personality, mostly thanks to the different spaces, including the main restaurant indoors, the large outdoor patio, with its olive and carob trees, and the lounge, perfect for après dinner coffee and liqueurs. For more information, call 7938 9000, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; www.madlienalodge.com.mt; www.facebook.com/madlienalodge 56 ∫ Pink June 2016
ATTACK BEHIND YOUR BACK Dott. EDWARD CURMI deals with backstabbers.
backstabber is someone who pretends to be on your side, but when you least expect it, purposely bad-mouths you behind your back. Being at the receiving end of a backstabber is unpleasant; it is a cowardly act that can tarnish your reputation. So why would someone choose to backstab someone else? And how can we handle someone who backstabs?
Why would someone choose to backstab someone else? According to Dr Jane Chin, an expert in leadership strategies, a person chooses to backstab for three main reasons: It’s opportunistic Back stabbing is nothing but a form of manipulation; a sly strategy to be on top and put another person in a negative light. It’s useful As much as backstabbing may be unethical behaviour, backstabbers never lose any sleep; in their eyes, their actions are simply effective in helping them obtain their goals. It’s only natural Backstabbers keep on behaving in the same manner as it simply comes natural to them. It’s probably a bad habit they learned and normalised through their own care givers, or key experiences.
“IT’S PROBABLY A BAD HABIT THEY LEARNED AND NORMALISED THROUGH THEIR OWN CARE GIVERS, OR KEY EXPERIENCES” What can we do when faced with a backstabber? Do not get lost in the ‘why’ After being backstabbed, most people spend their time dwelling on why that particular person chose to behave in such a manner. Adopting such an attitude is useless as it will only lead us to take on the role of the victim, who feels helpless and hopeless.
See the bigger picture The approach we should use with backstabbers differs depending on the type of relationship we have with them. However, the direct but caring approach seems to be one of the most effective. Ask them whether what you heard is true. Invite them to tell you their side of the story, while checking if you ever hurt them in any way before. If it is so, do apologise, stay cool and express how you feel about the matter. If they ignore you, just walk away and forgive them as quickly as possible; after all, they are not worth wasting more time on. Do not play their game Never choose to play their game and gossip or bad-mouth them. It could have serious repercussions and make you look like a fool. Remember, being emotionally intelligent in such situations is crucial and can possibly allow others to see the bigger picture. Do not divulge Backstabbers can teach us to be more careful, especially when it comes to choosing who to trust and conﬁde in. Sometimes, in certain environments, it is always wiser to say less and keep clear boundaries from certain people who may one day use it against you. Unfortunately, backstabbing happens all the time, especially in dysfunctional situations where no action is taken against the perpetrators. When backstabbers are in the family, the workplace, political parties, committees, etc…, it is usually a reﬂection of a weak leadership approach, and if the leader of these groups does not tackle it appropriately, it can grow out of hand and spread like a virus. Dott. Edward Curmi is a registered clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and author of the book Common Sense: a Better Understanding of Emotional Wellbeing, and its newly launched sequel More Common Sense: a Better Understanding of Emotional Well-being, available from Agenda Bookshops.
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Want to know how to help your children do well in exams and handle the pressure? Let them lie. Educational and child psychologist Dr STEPHANIE SATARIANO explains the science of how and why a good night’s sleep can pave the way to success.
xam season is probably trickling to an end by now… and there is no doubt that the majority of parents with school-age children have been hit by it. Whether it’s your child’s ﬁrst set of exams, or you are a veteran, you have probably noticed it inﬂicts stress and pressure on the whole family. Given June is almost over and preparation and revision should be pretty much out of the way, here’s how to help your child survive exam pressure and do the best they can the next time round. And believe it or not, one of the ways is none other than sleep. This is key to memory consolidation; that is, the formation of memories after we have learnt something. There are two main theories around how this happens:
Synaptic homeostasis theory, which suggests that while we sleep, our brain disconnects from all sensory and motor stimulation and our neurons [brain cells] are given a chance to renormalise. This not only helps improve our energy, but
also has signiﬁcant implications for a number of biological functions, including brain development. Active consolidation theory, which suggests that during sleep, memories move from their ‘temporary storage’ to ‘long-term storage’.
What is most important to note is that all this happens in what is called ‘slow wave sleep’ – our deepest sleep – which occurs in stage three and four of the sleep cycle. So your children [and
yourselves] have to go through two stages of sleep before you get to this point. So how do you support your children with their sleep in this stressful period? Although supporting them with their academic preparation for exams is important, self-care is too. It is wellknown that stress negatively impacts the quality of sleep, so promoting wellbeing in the build-up and through the exam period is the key to their healthy sleeping patterns and, consequently, paves the way for exam success. • Encourage them to take time away from studying and do things they enjoy so as to help increase their ‘happy hormones’. • Promote a good bed routine; help their body and mind get ready for bed. • Check in with them and see how they are feeling – talking about stresses and pressures helps to alleviate them. • Reduce the use of mobile devices up to two hours before bedtime. The white light mobile technology gives off has been found to be highly detrimental to sleep. However, if reducing this before bed is impossible, the latest Apple software has a ‘nighttime’ mode that gives off yellow light. What if your child is having diﬃculty sleeping? In this case, the sleep routine is even more important. Try to incorporate the same steps each evening, so the
“THIS IS KEY TO MEMORY CONSOLIDATION; THAT IS, THE FORMATION OF MEMORIES AFTER WE HAVE LEARNT SOMETHING” body learns what is happening. Essential oils, such as lavender and bergamot, are also very helpful. Sleep has a strong impact on the brain’s ability to store memories more permanently and helps your children with their exam revision. Will it guarantee exam success? No, it is just a piece of the complex puzzle of child development.
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THE VIRGINIA MONOLOGUES
NOT GOING? MAYBE?
nviting people to parties via Facebook is, of course, fashionable nowadays. I have never succumbed to the practice myself and I don’t think I ever will, and I also ﬁnd it very hard to be a party to that sort of thing – to be a party to the party list, if you like. Admittedly, it is convenient – so very convenient, in fact. It eliminates so much pre-party hoo-ha, including searching for the right party invitation, looking up those darned addresses, the unenviable task of licking stamps [unless you actually own a stamp-licking machine – apparently, they exist], and then having to keep a mental count of those blessed RSVPs so that you can cater for the right amount of guests. Growing up, I always imagined I’d reach that magical age where I’d be ‘old enough’ to own customised, grown-up party invitations, which would be embossed [or perhaps not] and which would have my [and perhaps someone else’s] home address and name on them.
The ﬂimsy invitations I always received to parties as a child didn’t quite cut it – generic party invites that you could buy off the counter, everywhere. To me, serious, sober, bespoke invitations were the way to go – the true mark of being an ‘adult’. They also told you something about the sort of party you were invited to. Of course, had I known then that by the time I ‘arrived’ and reached adulthood, receiving an invitation in the mail would be a thing of the past, I’d have probably never have believed it. Today, like most everything else, invitations have shifted online. Paperless post is the way to go and I ﬁnd it all rather unexciting. Of course, I do realise that with an online Facebook invitation, you can design and customise your own invitation and be as exciting and outrageous as you like. But to me, the most exciting thing about being invited to a party is the element of mystery – the ‘not knowing’ part: not knowing who else is invited to the party and trying to ﬁgure out who is on that guest list. In a world where predictability reigns supreme and where, perhaps, party lists were our last hope at a little bit of mystery, even that has been shattered. You now know who is invited, who is coming, who might be coming, who isn’t and why. Thankfully, there are still a few people [like me] who don’t let on their intentions either way. As a rule, I normally refuse to indicate my attendance, publicly at least… which is not to say that I don’t make my intentions known privately. I am always quick to thank the host and let them know whether I will be attending, because that is the very least one can do. And yet, doing so publicly just goes against the grain and every one of my principles. Oh I’m sure I’ve had to compromise these a few times, because that is the thing about Facebook – it does play havoc with many of your principles and best intentions. You frequently ﬁnd yourself doing things you don’t really want to do: liking posts you don’t particularly like; commenting on things you wouldn’t normally care to; and generally being swept away by the Facebook current. This may explain how, only the other day, I found myself begrudgingly pressing the ‘Going’ [to a party] button. This was actually the third time I was requested to do so in a matter of a few months, so you could argue that my resolve had been considerably weakened.
The ﬁrst time was in mid-April. I was invited to a birthday party, and towards the end of that month, I was asked to conﬁrm my attendance and press ‘Going’. I managed to wriggle out of that because I played dumb and told the host that I had already conﬁrmed my attendance viva voce and even sent him a text message thanking him immediately after. The second time I was told to press the infamous button, I was also told that this was for catering purposes because the host needed to know how many people to cater for. I suppose you can’t really argue with that, and yet, it’s always touch and go, even when people have conﬁrmed. You are always going to have absentees – people who say they are coming but don’t turn up at the eleventh hour for whatever reason. And then there are people who turn up with ‘guests’ who were not strictly asked. So numbers are always ﬂuid. RSVPing is not a strict science, even when you have said so on Facebook. The third time I was asked to conﬁrm my attendance was a few weeks ago and I think, at that point, I had no choice but to come clean. I let my host know that having to press the ‘Going’ button was not something I was comfortable with at all. I really wish people would rethink Facebook invitations, but then I suppose I wish people would rethink Facebook altogether. And I say this even though I am a regular Facebook user, who has grown accustomed to sneaking a Facebook peek at all hours of the day. Facebook has become the modern-day ‘cruise’. In the old days, when we were bored, we’d go for a cruise and hope to spot someone we knew. Today, traﬃc doesn’t permit that sort of thing. If you went for a cruise today, you’d be cruciﬁed, or should I say ‘cruiseiﬁed’. So we cruise Facebook instead, and we ﬁnd out who is going where and doing what. And yet, when it comes to invitations, I refuse to join in. I guess that makes me a Facebook party pooper and I can live with that. I hope this silly fad is destined to die and that there will come a time when people will want to go back to basics and do things the good old-fashioned way. Now might be a good time to order those embossed bespoke party invitations. email@example.com
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BETWEEN THE SHEETS MARIA CACHIA sifts through the layers of her mango, pistachios, almond and hazelnut millefoglie. METHOD INGREDIENTS For the hazelnut and quinoa base 8 dates Juice of half an orange 150g hazelnuts 70g cooked quinoa For the pistachio layers 300g pistachios, ground 150g almonds, ground 1 tbsp honey, or more if desired ½ tsp rose water 2 mangoes cut into 5mm slices 1 melon, of approximately 300g, not too ripe, cut into 5mm slices 200ml coconut milk Juice and zest of half an orange 1 tbsp soft brown sugar Cherries, or fresh cream to garnish
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For the hazelnut and quinoa base Soak the dates in water for a few hours, or overnight. Drain and place in a blender, together with the orange juice. Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the hazelnuts and quinoa. The hazelnuts
can either be ﬁnely ground, or use a mixture of ﬁnely ground and roughly chopped for added texture. Blend the ingredients together with a spatula. Refrigerate until needed. For the pistachio layers In a bowl, blend together the pistachios, almond, honey and rose water. The mixture should come together like dough. Add a drizzle more honey if needed. Shape the pistachio ‘dough’ in a ball and refrigerate.
Pat dry the fruit to remove any excess water. Fruit can be grilled in an oven or on a BBQ for a few minutes on each side. For the sauce Heat the coconut milk in a pan over medium heat. Add the orange juice, zest and sugar. Reduce to a single cream consistency – this should take a few minutes. Allow to come to room temperature. To assemble Roll out the quinoa and hazelnut dough to about 5-7mm and cut a circle the size of the base of the cake tin. [Ideally, use an 8-inch non-stick spring form cake tin.] Gently place onto the cake tin. Refrigerate while working on the pistachio layers. Roll out the pistachio dough as thinly as possible, about 2mm. This can be rolled in between two layers of baking paper to facilitate handling. Cut circles the size of the cake tin base. Place a layer of fruit onto the quinoa base and then a layer of pistachio. Alternate the fruit and pistachio layers. If desired, add some freshly whipped cream on top of the fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh fruit, freshly whipped cream, or ice cream and serve with the orange sauce.
Tucson. This is deﬁnitely no pipe-and-slippers car! I particularly liked the fact that the steering column adjusts for both rise and reach, making it easy to ﬁnd the optimum position. In fact, driving proved to be a real pleasure. Whether it’s the school run, or a jaunt out over country roads, the Tucson guarantees comfort, because as well as being svelte and posed in the looks department, it is also a smooth operator when it comes to the ride. With the relentless summer heat and dustiness of this island, black isn’t perhaps the most practical colour for Malta, but the Tucson certainly cut a dash wherever it went that day. While parking, it drew admiring glances, with someone actually mistaking it for a BMW until they saw the Hyundai badge. And that’s another factor in its favour: starting at €24,500, it offers incredible value for money and is guaranteed not to break the bank. There are currently four options available, from the Classic to the Comfort, along with the Comfort Plus and the Style; and all are also available as automatic options. The good news
BEAUTIFUL The Hyundai Tucson is handsome. But would its performance match its enigmatic demeanour? To find out, ANDREA FAYE CHRISTIANS takes one out on a date. Not only is it dapper, but also practical. And practical is by no means boring…
ith its brooding good looks, the Hyundai Tucson is certainly a head turner. Yes, this car is deﬁnitely handsome; the large shark-like front grille and sharp lines, combined with an abundance of chrome, deﬁnitely make it stand out from the crowd. If you think the name Tucson sounds familiar, then you’d be right – it’s a city in Arizona and was ﬁrst used by Hyundai back in 2004, which is almost a lifetime in modern car terms. The re-introduction of the name aligns it with its bigger brother the Sante Fe, and the 2016 Hyundai Tucson is an all-new model that has deﬁnitely been beefed up and given a more stylised look. When it comes to space, it beats its rival in the mid-size SUV range hands down, with plenty of head and leg room for ﬁve sizeable adults, or for a bunch of kids to roll around, as well as a substantial boot. Indeed, the practical aspect of this car is yet another plus point in its favour. Not surprisingly, it comes with lots of kit, as one would
“INSIDE WAS A LITTLE LESS FLASH THAN THE EXTERIOR AND IT FELT LIKE I’D SLIPPED OUT OF MY STILETTOES INTO A PAIR OF SENSIBLE SHOES AS I GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL” expect of Hyundai, although inside was a little less ﬂash than the exterior and it felt like I’d slipped out of my stilettoes into a pair of sensible shoes as I got behind the wheel. But practical isn’t boring – or at least it doesn’t have to be with the Hyundai
continues because, for those who are environmentally conscious, the Hyundai Tucson has very low CO2 emissions and is economical to run. Indeed, for those who believe big is beautiful, then this could possibly be the car for you. If there were any criticism, I would only point to a slight lightness in the steering. But all in all, if it’s stylish practicality that you’re after, at a premium price, then the Hyundai Tucson is a winner. Returning a little later to the showroom – after succumbing to the need for a second spin – I was now sure of one thing: if I were in the market for a mid-range SUV, then the dapper Hyundai Tucson would deﬁnitely be top of my wish list. Pink June 2016 ∫ 67
As the debate on workplace diversity gathers steam, two women from Malta’s largest contact centre, HSBC UK Contact Centre Malta [HBEU], talk about their experiences and aspirations.
REBECCA DURKE Recruitment oﬃcer at HSBC UK Contact Centre Malta make up a very high proportion “ofWomen our HBEU workforce at 57 per cent. In
The HSBC UK Contact Centre Malta enjoys a reputation of being an informal and friendly workplace.
“AS A WORKING MUM OF TWO, I UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING THAT NURTURING ENVIRONMENT”
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HSBC’s global community, advancement of employees has a high priority. Each and every employee’s sense of worth and assurance as well as a sense of direction are dependent upon the attainment of their work goals and we have tried to provide conditions where these can ﬂourish. As a working mum of two, I understand the importance of creating that nurturing environment. When it opened its doors to potential employees 10 years ago, the goal was to have a workforce of 250. Today, our numbers have gone past 450 staff members, who are trained to assist UK accountholding customers with their daily telephone and internet banking needs. This is a challenging number to manage, where each and every member of staff has unique expectations for their job and even unique demands when shaping their work-life balance. Nurturing staff members is an important component of our operations and one that guides our activities. In fact, we have a dedicated People Experience Team, which ensures that employees have all they require to focus and achieve their potential with a sense of satisfaction, teamwork and due reward.”
PINKPROMO The Contact Centre is centrally located in Swatar.
HBEU forms part of the UK network of contact centres, supporting customers with UK accounts. Since its foundation in 2006, it has experienced steady growth, handling some 18,000 calls per day from its modern premises in Swatar. Radio jockey Martina Zammit [front] taking a selﬁe with staﬀ members.
“WHEN I JOINED THE HSBC CONTACT CENTRE IN SWATAR, I HAD NO BANKING EXPERIENCE OR QUALIFICATIONS, BUT I WAS ENCOURAGED TO TAKE THE TRAINING SERIOUSLY AND EVENTUALLY PROGRESS MY WAY UP WITH OPPORTUNITIES” Christine Borg
CHRISTINE BORG Team manager of PPI Department Malta I started as a customer service “associate and progressed to becoming a team manager. I currently manage a team of 12 colleagues. When I joined the HSBC Contact Centre in Swatar, I had no banking experience or qualiﬁcations, but I was encouraged to take the training seriously and eventually progress my way up with opportunities.
I was ambitious to perform. Owing to the culture at HSBC, I would say that people who are committed to their training and who progress along the way ﬁnd out that there is actually a career path that can lead them to different areas of the business. There are many very fulﬁlling aspects to my work. To witness the passion and commitment of my colleagues helping to resolve important ﬁnancial issues of our customers is absolutely inspiring. The ability to train new team members and watch them as their characteristics take shape for a globalised career is also deeply satisfying to me.”
HBEU offers exceptional opportunities for training and job development to help its employees achieve their full potential and fulfill their career ambitions. From the moment employees start working at the contact centre, they benefit from HBEU’s culture of investment and development. In fact, the centre’s in-house training programmes are so comprehensive that new employees need not have too many qualifications to begin with. Applying for a job at the HSBC Contact Centre is pretty straightforward. Interest can be registered by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Prospective candidates then receive relevant documents and the process gets underway. As far as career advancement is concerned, secondments to different areas of the business are always an exciting option. The job also comes with enticing perks such as discounted rates on home loans, life insurance and private health care.
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freedom It’s the first time 26-year-old Annabel Zammit is exposing herself as an artist. She tells Pink she’s anxious, but mostly, excited. This journey has taught her how to embrace fear and overcome it, one painting at a time…
his is your ﬁrst foray into art. How did you feel about exhibiting it? How did you think it would be received? It’s the ﬁrst time I’m exposing myself as an artist; I was anxious, but mostly, excited. My anxiety stemmed from the fact that I used a technique I haven’t really seen around, but I was excited to share it with others. I love the way the colours in my paintings make me feel alive and powerful, and I hope others feel the same way. If you had to describe this collection of works, what would you say and what was the inﬂuence? Aura, my ﬁrst solo art exhibition,
communicated freedom of expression through painting. This set of abstract works is about ﬂuidity and experimentation, expressed through diverse media and their different reactions. One day, I decided to close all my books, put away all my pictures, preconceived ideas and invisible stereotypes, and just painted what I felt I should. My main inﬂuence, or rather, my main motivation was to break down that wall of fear of the unknown. The creation of these paintings left me with an insatiable feeling of freedom, power and beauty. This journey has taught me how to embrace fear and overcome it, one painting at a time. Abstract art is not appreciated by everyone. What is your take on it? What I love about art is that it is so subjective. In my opinion, abstract art is so beautiful and unconventional. The feeling of turning a blank canvas into an explosion of colour and shapes is extremely satisfying. Not having any expectations only makes the ﬁnished pieces more alluring in my eyes. Pink June 2016 ∫ 71
SNAPSHOT Abstract art gives me the freedom to communicate in ways that words cannot. It’s early days for you in the art scene, but can you see your style evolving and changing with time, or is this a one-off ? I’m a lover of dynamic media, so I love change. I have so many ideas that I’d like to pursue, and for me, this exhibition was a big step I had been wanting to take for a very long time. I can’t wait to learn more and grow more. As a relative novice, do you think the local art scene opens doors and opportunities, or do you think it will be hard to break through? I haven’t really spoken to many Maltese artists yet, so I’m excited to discover local talent, learn and collaborate. I’m sure there are lots of great opportunities out there and I’m excited to discover them. Design plays a part in your life. How else, apart from your paintings? I work as a freelance graphic designer; I studied design and worked in Milan and it’s been an exciting part of my life. I enjoy
creating new concepts, starting from scratch by ﬁrst sketching my ideas and then working on them digitally. I love print material; choosing the paper, textures and colours. If you had to meet an artist from the past, who would it be and what would you talk about? The Renaissance has always fascinated me, so it would probably have to be Leonardo da Vinci – the brilliance of this genius is so intriguing. I love reading
Which painting are you most attached to and why? I would have to say I feel attached to all my work because each painting reﬂects something different for me. But there is this one piece, Green Dreams, which means that little bit more because it was the time I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. The end result left me feeling so excited to be alive. I painted this piece about four months ago, and whenever I’m feeling a bit down, I go to my studio and sit in front of it to remind myself of how I felt when I created it.
“ABSTRACT ART GIVES ME THE FREEDOM TO COMMUNICATE IN WAYS THAT WORDS CANNOT” about his life and inventions and how he used his art for so many different things. I’d probably ask questions about his numerous encryptions in the diverse media he used. Is there one colour you detest? Not at all! I try to find beauty in everything.
If you had to capture one moment/ mood of your life in a painting, what would it be and how would you portray it in your own style? That would deﬁnitely have to be a feeling of calmness and peace with myself. I’ve already captured this moment once in the largest painting, stretching two metres, which was in my Aura exhibition.
THE FUTURE IS
PINK ARIES MARCH 20-APRIL 18 July’s busy... enough to keep you interested in the seemingly dull topics and tasks you’re facing. Still, you’re not exactly thrilled. Get involved, however, and you’ll soon be fascinated by these complex situations and your growing role in them. Some involve family, work, or perhaps the balance between home and your activities out in the world. And there’s also ﬁnances, again, involving others. Tempting as it is to make swift decisions, you’ve lots to learn. Take it slowly. You’ll be glad you did.
CANCER JUNE 20-JULY 21 Late June’s ideas and offers are promising, enough you begin July feeling optimistic. Yet you’re still undecided. Happily, the Cancer New Moon on July 4 brings a fresh perspective. Take things slowly. If anybody demands swift decisions, ignore them. Instead, ask lots of questions and learn from every idea. By mid-month, you’re making vital changes. Initially, others may object, but they’ll soon agree to exploring these exciting, if disruptive, options with you. Aim high. Once seemingly unobtainable goals will soon be within reach.
LIBRA SEPTEMBER 22-OCTOBER 21 Obviously, disruption doesn’t thrill you. If it’s unavoidable, then your aim is to reorganise things swiftly. However, many of July’s changes involve complex situations about which you are uncertain. While this means the process lasts months, what you’re learning and who you’ll meet are so exciting you’re increasingly thrilled. Meanwhile, make temporary arrangements. Ensure both plans and your thinking are ﬂexible, enough you can explore what arises without concerns about upsetting existing arrangements.
CAPRICORN DECEMBER 21-JANUARY 19 For ages, you’ve been working hard to turn certain exciting, but challenging, ideas into action. Suddenly, they come together, although not as you anticipated. Proceed with your plans, but ensure both arrangements and your attitude are ﬂexible. That way, when the Capricorn Full Moon on July 19 triggers both intense feelings and sudden events, you’ll be inquisitive rather than anxious. Most of all, recognise these are major changes, so they will inevitably take time, and instead of rushing things, you’ll adopt a slow pace. 74 ∫ Pink June 2016
According to astrologer SHELLEY VON STRUNCKEL… TAURUS
APRIL 19-MAY 19 The ﬁrst 10 days of July are about discussion and discovery. Learn all that you can, so that after July 11, when the focus shifts to planning your life, at home and out in the world, you’re ready to ask serious questions, then make crucial decisions. Initially, ideas seem unrealistic, if not impossible. But as you learn more about this series of swift events, you’ll be increasingly enthusiastic. If there’s any challenge, it’s acknowledging it’s about a series of changes, not just one.
MAY 20-JUNE 19 While the need to focus on dull practical and ﬁnancial matters won’t thrill you, it’s no secret they need attention. So when events demand you take decisive action, you’ll need to do some serious investigation. Soon you’re fascinated both by the complexity of these matters and, equally, ﬁnding ways to improve your current situation. This isn’t just about practicalities, which beneﬁt substantially from your efforts. Your life is just as enriched by time spent with those closest and those you meet during June.
JULY 22-AUGUST 21 Although Leos are widely envied for their unique style, if not actual glamour, currently, you’re feeling less than thrilled about life. It’s not that you’re facing real problems as much as you’re being forced to make sudden changes, particularly in situations you’re happy with. Yet soon you’ll be exchanging irritation for excitement about new ideas, activities and, possibly, alliances. Continue exploring your options until early August, when the Leo New Moon offers a fresh perspective on plans for the present and the future.
AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 21 Aggravating as sudden changes in plan are, they’re not only inevitable, but they’re also in your best interests. Soon, however, you realise July’s a month of review. Both events and your own realisation that certain existing arrangements are restrictive get you moving. By midmonth, your perspective has shifted so much you’re eagerly reorganising elements of your lifestyle, habits and even long-standing alliances. Try out new arrangements, but regard everything as a bit of an experiment.
OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 20 Life’s a mix of brilliant ideas, offers and obstacles. Worrying as the latter seem, during July’s ﬁrst half, they trigger lively discussions, which, in turn, lead you into unfamiliar but exciting territory. Explore everything, including what seems impractical or of little interest. This broadens your horizons. In turn, your perspective will change, partly because of what you learn, but as much, due to your increased optimism about certain close relationships. Ensure plans are ﬂexible enough to accommodate changes.
NOVEMBER 21-DECEMBER 20 Judging by late June’s stunning link between your ruling planet Jupiter and Pluto, which signiﬁes both money and transformation, you’ll begin July full of optimism. Unfortunately, not everybody will understand or be ready for the ideas or changes involved. If facing objections, go it alone, knowing the success of your ideas or ventures will reassure others. Despite your enthusiasm, take it slowly, as the foundation on which plans are based and your own priorities will shift several times before anything can be ﬁnalised.
JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 18 Discussions have been ongoing about rethinking your domestic or working life. While some changes have been made, there’s talk about others. You’re short of facts, so are increasingly exasperated. Still, with the world around you in transition, even the simplest of arrangements will change. Forget about seeking a single, lasting plan, and instead, take full advantage of your inquisitive nature and explore absolutely everything. And doing it with those who’ll be involved brings you closer during this crucial period.
FEBRUARY 19-MARCH 19 The ideas, offers and events triggered by superb planetary activity during late June and early July are thrilling. Some are the result of your efforts, often over a long period of time; others are completely unexpected. Although nothing could undermine the resulting plans, with the world changing, things won’t last as ﬁrst envisioned. Your challenge is overcoming your disappointment things can’t go as anticipated. Rely on those closest, as they have a better understanding of changes and know how to boost your spirits.
Visit www.shelleyvonstrunckel.com to learn more and order your own chart.