The faldetta was an item of clothing worn in the Mediterranean
island of Malta
. Its particular name Ghonella
is more specific than the english translation, which alludes to other costumes which are not related to this one in any way.
The interest around the faldetta is mainly in its role - its shape was meant to obliterate the female shape, turning it into a foreboding, menacing one.
Indeed the faldetta looks very odd. Sicilian women of the same pre-war era wore somewhat similar veils over their clothing - however none as bombastic as the maltese faldetta.
Having an armature, this 'shawl' was made to cave over the woman's head like a sail. In windy conditions, the woman would pull the edges of her odd figure-changing contraption towards her, presumably so as to reduce the air resistance such a costume would undoubtedly cause. The material was always black and un-decorated, and would cover the woman's inside-clothes beneath.
Though in their time, the faldettas were staple wear and every woman would wear one, their popularity slowly decreased during WWII, and only a coupld of old hard-to-modernise women insisted on wearing them. Like lace-making and steam-trains, the lore of the faldetta has gently slipped into the quaintness of this mediterranean isalnd's tradition
Made to be worn outside, this costume was intended to deter men and protect a woman's privacy.
Damn i sometimes wish i had a faldetta.