Day 6: The ‘Claudia’ Bag (words by Ramona Depares)
One of Charles&Ron’s most well-known muses, Claudia Calleja is a household name for anyone who knows the first thing about Maltese fashion. Here, she tells Ramona Depares about the story behind the Claudia Bag.
How did your collaboration with Charles & Ron start?
I was called to be one of the models for one of their shows and from then on…it’s history!
What do you admire most about them?
Although they’re very talented designers, they are very down-to-earth people and yet, very professional at the same time.
What was your reaction when you were told that the designers were naming a bag after you?
I had the same reaction I had a long time ago when they called me to model for them for the first time. I have to admit that I knew I had a very good feel for modelling 🙂 But being told that I was being called as a C&R model was totally different!
I got to know about the bag through a photo in a message that was sent by Charles. “This is the design of the Claudia Bag, dear. Do you like it?” I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it on the sketch. I felt so honoured!
How do you describe your own style?
I wear what I believe looks good on me. I describe my style as very feminine, ranging from casual to formal and elegant. I’m a fan of ‘less is more’ and I’m very particular about good grooming. This also applies to what I wear, and I only wear sportswear when I work out.
I love colours, especially in summer. A good colour will make a face look colorful.
Do you feel the bag reflects your personality and style?
I consider myself as a good friend of Charles and Ron nowadays. We dine, we talk, we laugh a lot together. You can say that they now know me inside and out. I’m a lovable, determined, loyal, reliable and happy person. Sometimes I don’t have time to change my bag, so I make sure I wear something that goes with the one I’m currently using and that has all my stuff in it.
I believe that every woman is beautiful and unique in her own way – life is too short to be vain. We have to enjoy the beauty and great qualities you find in a different person.
Truth be told, any lady can wear the Claudia bag, as I feel that its style is suitable for everyone, from teenagers up to the older generation. And… it’s very versatile.
It can be worn with both casual and smart outfits and will look also great with a pair of jeans. I’m also happy that it comes in two colours: green and blue and silver with blue. The green adds such a touch of elegance! I love handbags as much as I love shoes, especially coloured ones.
Have you worn the bag yet? If yes, what did you team it with? And to what occasion did you wear it?
Yes, I did. With a Jackie O style silver-grey dress for a special night out for dinner.
What is your favourite Charles&Ron item to wear?
A black velvet evening dress with a touch of silver, which is very particular in its design. I have only worn it once but am very looking forward to wearing it again on a special night out.
Can you give us some favourite memories from past shows?
I remember a particular show when I was coming back from Italy on the same day and my flight was delayed. I started panicking. I drove from the airport straight to the venue, where I was the very last one to do hair and make-up. I managed to fit in all outfits they prepared for me, and walked confidently showing the beautiful pieces of Charles&Ron . The show was held at Il-Borża in Valletta, and I will always remember it!
How do you feel the two designers have contributed to the Maltese fashion scene?
They both love dressing glamorous women and making women look their best.
Lately they have made the Maltese culture an important part of their designs. Over the years they have participated in many prestigious events around Europe. The duo is now viewed as the top designers in Malta and have showed their designs – some of them inspired by the Maltese cities – all over Europe.
Any comments on their new collection?
Their latest collection, titled Humilissima Civitas was inspired by the architecture in our capital city, Valletta. Wanting the woman to feel proud to wear her city…The new collection is simply amazing!
How important is fashion for you?
It’s important for me because my job requires me to look presentable all the time.
I believe that the way you look on the exterior largely impacts the way people view you on the interior. I have been involved in the fashion and beauty industry for more than 15 years and have always believed that when you feel good about your appearance and are comfortable in your own skin, you can do amazing things.
Special thanks to Claudia Calleja for being part of this project, Ramona Depares for the lovely article, Carlton Agius for the photography, and the wonderful staff at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in Attard for providing us with the premises and refreshments. To find out more about this collaboration, please click here.