Innovative Thread

A journey into the the world of Irina Falzon's luxury woman's wear brand, PRIVILEGE COUTURE

Bringing together simplicity, contemporary design, and experimental form, Irina Falzon stands as a prominent luxury womenswear designer based in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta. Her unique approach to fashion revolves around the fusion of conceptualism with the tangible, weaving together elements of nature and fashion for a purpose. Irina’s commitment to innovation and sustainability is evident in her choice of materials, often opting for the unconventional to craft pieces that transcend traditional boundaries. Just take one look at her beautiful clothing labels, handmade from prickly pear cactus plants. “It takes hours of tinkering around to find the right formula, texture and look. I can spend entire nights experimenting with an idea,” Irina confesses.

Irina’s design process is an intricate dance between concept and execution. When embarking on a new collection, she delves into a chosen concept, inspired mainly by nature or reoccurring solid themes in her life, such as bold colours and the importance of flowers.

The journey begins with sourcing images and researching keywords related to the concept, laying the foundation for exploring colours, shapes, and fabric choices. Irina’s preference for experimentation is palpable as she takes to the stand to play with draping, printing and dying techniques before translating her visions onto the finest of silks. The culmination of this meticulous process results in hours and hours of work, from which she carefully selects and refines the best to shape the final collection for Privilege Couture.

In the realm of fashion, where trends evolve rapidly and competition is fierce, emerging designers face formidable challenges. According to Irina, the primary hurdle lies in competing with fast fashion and educating younger generations on the importance of sustainability.

The journey to a complete collection inevitably demands time, unwavering commitment, and financial investment, followed by the equally daunting task of promoting and selling it. While prestigious, high-profile events like Fashion Week present substantial financial barriers and intense competition. Irina emphasises that success in the industry is far from guaranteed, requiring designers to prove their potential over multiple seasons before garnering serious attention.


Looking ahead, Irina envisions a future where her brand secures a prominent position in the world of luxury fashion. Her aspirations involve dressing women who want to feel good and unique- as, after all, no two pieces in her collection are the same. As real-life plants form the basis of her print design, it’s impossible!

More than mere commercial success, Irina desires her label to be synonymous with an established reputation and recognition for sustainability, with her pieces becoming sought-after treasures proudly displayed in wardrobes worldwide. “We need to take a few steps back and see how our ancestors were creating special garments- and the answers lie in nature”, Irina adds.

While some designers draw inspiration from established icons in the industry, Irina takes a unique approach, emphasising her own ideas as the driving force behind her creations, alongside hours and hours of research- a simple quote or historical period can spur her to create. Nevertheless, she acknowledges the influence of working with some of the world’s most renowned fashion houses in Italy and Romania before starting her brand in Malta.

A distinguishing feature of Irina’s work is her bold use of unconventional materials, such as saffron flowers and other plants, to create the most intricate patterns, just one glimpse at her work and you’ll appreciate it is awe-inspiring. The decision to incorporate these unexpected elements stems from her desire to stand out in a crowded field. Irina’s journey growing up in communist Romania has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on her creativity.

There were no colours back then, so we had to create and go one step further to bring ideas to life. Each year my sister and I would work the hardest to become the top of the class, so we would be awarded a floral crown”. With that sentiment Irina quickly shares a photo of her sister as a young girl with the most beautiful floral crown, and shares another anecdote of looking forward to the women’s day events in her rural village, purely for the floral displays. It’s certainly evident flowers resonate deeply with Irina. “Nowadays anyone that knows me on a special occasion sends me flowers! I simply love them!” she exclaims.

Unfazed by the prevalence of this theme in the industry, she sought to delve deeper, introducing plants and flowers as an innovative embellishment technique, subtle yet groundbreaking in its inconspicuous integration. Irina’s careful sourcing of materials underscores the importance of differentiation in the competitive fashion world, where uniqueness is not just a choice but a necessity for those aspiring to make a lasting mark. [ V ]

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