I have been eager to write a blog post like this one for a while, but never really got round to doing so just because of how time-consuming the whole moving process has been. However, I finally decided to put together a bit of a journal-like entry and talk about my move to Paris. I have tried my best to organize my thoughts and not ramble too much, so here’s a little post on my personal experience.
Moving country had always been a part of my plan – Partially because I am not the person who could live in one place for too long, but primarily because I began drawing clothing at the age of six, and although I’ve had many other aspirations throughout the years, Fashion Design always found its way back to me. I very well knew that if I wanted to work in the Fashion industry, staying in Malta was not an option. There are no courses past A Level standard, and even then, they are oftentimes not up to par. In other words, a lot of what you are to learn has to be self-taught – Which, as someone who has grown up in a family of self-taught artists, this worked well for me – But I truly cannot imagine just how limited options are to other students in Malta reaching towards unpopular career goals. I love my home – It is a beautiful island, rich in culture, gorgeous beaches & full of fantastic parties. I will try my best to visit as regularly as possible, but I always believed that life on Malta ultimately represented comfort, and that as an artist, comfort is somewhat of an enemy – something which does not allow me to strive hard enough. And dare I say it, but life there was just too easy. I wanted to be challenged, live in a place where things didn’t rely so much on having the right connections and recognized double-barrel surname. And on that note, I began to strategically plan out my departure at age 13.
I never really thought of it as a faraway dream. I knew people did it, I knew it was attainable, and I didn’t doubt my choices. I also just couldn’t particularly see myself going through life without having given this a shot, because I suppose I was fortunate enough to have known what I wanted from a young age and didn’t have to really think about what career I wanted to take up – But being an eighteen-year-old female in Malta and doing something different does not sit well with many, I’ve come to realise. I’ve been blessed with extremely supportive friends and a helpful grandmother, but I have not met enough open-minded Maltese who understood the concept of wanting to study Fashion, as opposed to a traditional, secure career choice… and that is what made things difficult back home.
And so, 2017 began with lots of work – I had been dreaming of ESMOD for years, and therefore applied solely to that university. After having been accepted, scholarship and student loan applications came next. Apartment hunting in Paris does not work on a first-come, first-serve basis like it does in Malta. You would generally need to meet a lot of the right criteria first – such as having a French guarantor, having a French bank account (also not the quickest procedure) and having an income 4x greater than your rent – before competing with other potential renters. Ultimately, all was settled about a day before I made the move – And even though I’ve been in Paris for just over a week, I can say the struggle is always well worth it if you are passionate enough.
I’d say I began experiencing the typical Parisian life almost immediately. Between collaborating with other artists, being in contact with Vogue and dealing with rat exterminators, I’ve found just enough time to squeeze in the daily croissant and walk around the city with a baguette in hand. Fashion school begins in some days and I hope to be able to create outfit-related content, but I might have to start incorporating more personal posts for the time being. (It’s a lot harder when you do not have your best friends to snap your instagram photos on the daily!)