Paul Costelloe S/S ’12

by Katie on September 19, 2011

As the opening act for London Fashion Week’s last six seasons Paul Costelloe has rarely put a foot wrong, and those of us (me included) who thought we had Costelloe’s number down as an Eighties relic best left to John Lewis are often forced to re-evaluate that opinion based on the inventive, youthful collections which he shows.

Citing camp classic ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’ as the main starting point could set alarm bells ringing. Many designers have fallen into the trap where cinematic influences have resulted in collections verging on pastiche, but Costelloe has created a wearable womenswear collection of very young, very short pieces in airy, neutral shades with bursts of coral pink, and fresh, minty green.

The baby doll and trapeze dresses with their balloon sleeves, pretty pleated sections, and ruffles evoke Costelloes Parisian haute couture training in the Sixties, as do sculptural elements such as the strong shoulders and high collars.

Menswear is another matter entirely, and Costelloe plays this fairly safe, give or take some artistic licence with trouser widths, and a cerise pink suit with pleated-back frockcoat, and a petrol blue cowl-necked linen smock, tagged on the end seem a little extraneous.
Overall, an assured collection from a past master, and a wake-up call to other established designers resting on their laurels.
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@Teamchutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.
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