Paul Costelloe London Fashion Week: a vintage inspired family affair

Trapeze coats and strappy sundresses added a romantic touch to Costelloe’s spring summer 2018 collection

 

The Costelloe clan were out in force in London for Paul Costelloe’s spring summer 2018 collection held in the ballroom of the Waldorf Hotel to the strains of signature songs of Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier from the 1950s.

” Thank Heaven for Little Girls” from Gigi opened the show and though not quite in tune with the current era of girl power set the tone of this show which drew from that period and the 1960s for its shapes and spirit.

Short flouncy trapeze coats and foxy little strappy sundresses with puff sleeves are not the easiest of styles for grown women but looked fresh and carefree on slimline models with scraped back hair and sock boots. The tent shape reappeared throughout the whole show in various guises – in bold green and white vegetable prints, in sunny yellow silk jacquards and appliquéd cottons all from family run mills in Ireland and Italy. The prints were striking and colourful and one in a chequerboard mix of pastels was designed by William Costelloe one of the designer’s six sons for a jumpsuit worn by Vogue Williams.

Sometimes it was the simplest items that worked best like a romantic pale blue ballerina style dress in linen with stiffened tulle underskirt and simple scoop neckline worn with a neon neckpiece by the jeweller Sarah Angold. In his heyday Costelloe’s use of linen was pioneering and long white palazzos with a strappy halter top recalled that sporty relaxed air.

In all, it was a ladylike show with a strong emphasis on fabric and tailored 60s shapes, though skintight latex tops and leggings seemed out of kilter with its otherwise well bred look.

None of these clothes are on sale; they are made to measure POA in a small manufacturing unit in Brick Lane, according to Anne Costelloe. The Costelloe boys are close to the business; William’s interest is in textiles, Paul Edward works for Thomas Pink, Robert is heading to New York to further his career in business, Gavin is a barrister, Justin works in oil and gas, Nicholas is studying animation in CSM (Central St Martins) while Jessica is currently auditioning for the Rome Opera House.

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