Paul Costelloe kicks off LFW

by Katie on February 18, 2011

It’s always difficult to have to kick off the first show for London Fashion Week.  It’s set with the problems of getting press there, on time (well, relatively) and also encouraging any glitterati out to shore up your front row.  Hard on a cold February morning. 

Paul Costelloe did a fine job (with a front row including Ms Janice Dickenson and Emma Forbes – remember her?) considering his recent woes when the supply group his name is licensed to, Signature Brands International (SBI) entered administration. Calvelex director, Cesar Araujo, has said they have formed a new company, Couture Brands, which will now operate the Paul Costelloe womenswear licence. Phew!


An assured collection that hinted at late 1950’s and early 1960’s styling with Peter Pan collared short, shift dresses in a glut of fabrics and colours paired alongside Costelloe’s traditional Harris tweeds and Shetland wools, only this time there were flashes of electric foil, citrus and wild animal prints.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, frankly, when a short tweed bomber was paired with a metallic foil print thigh skimming skater’s skirt.  A step too far.  Which is a pity as these pieces individually are the bread and butter of Middle England or Ireland’s wardrobe.

Costelloe’s daring to mix formal with casual, luxury with tradition and Bohemian with Rococo was a bold move for a traditional designer as were the exposed zips hinting at a more edgy customer.


Beautiful detaling was present, however, in the gathered collars (tailored to perfection), paper bag waists on skirts and lots of fit and flare boxy suits which is very now. Vibrant fuchsias and emeralds were interspersed with ochres and multi coloured foil separates.


The mood of the show was perhaps captured and signified best by the models’ severe red, Zandra Rhodes type bobs with heavy fringes.   

Broken down, Mr Costelloe had some winning pieces that are bound to please the dept stores across the UK.  In theis show, the styling detracted rather than added to the collection.  Let’s hope Middle England’s buyers have multo imagination.

What do you think of Paul Costelloe’s collection?  Please leave a comment in the box below.
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