Costelloe gives jobs to his boys
Six sons brave catwalk to showcase designer dad's latest collection
THE six sons of Irish designer Paul Costelloe helped make his menswear collection a family affair at the opening show of London Fashion Week.
It was an early start at 9am for the Costelloe siblings -- Justin, Paul-Emmet, Gavin, Robert, William and Nicholas, who are aged between 16 and 27.
Instead of their usual weekday roles at their jobs in banks, law firms or even at school, they were showcasing their father's latest designs.
They lined out like a rugby team going into a particularly fragrant scrum, as they mannerly side-stepped the female models in quirky, flirty dresses.
The men wore Edwardian-feel, four-button suits fashioned in metallic fabrics that gleamed like modern-day armour. Cut in contemporary shapes with skinny legs, the silhouette was definitely on the slim side. The brothers Costelloe, cheered on by their mother, Anne, and opera singer sister Jessica, closed the show wearing a series of well-received, structured suits in great shades such as indigo blue. Their fitted shirts featured exquisite detailing and cheeky punctuations of scarlet.
The styling included men's coats and shorts worn bare-legged with statement high socks -- but then Irishmen know that look from too many years of dodgy socks and sandals.
If his menswear had a tailored vibe, his womenswear for spring-summer 2011 was where the drama was, studded with lots of surprises and radically different to other collections.
There was a series of very short dresses, which will surprise many of the diehards traditionalists. It was "a girl's night out coming home", as the designer described it backstage.
Gone were the signature tailored jackets he is famous for, replaced by cropped leather biker jackets worn over short, white frocks, the fabric sprinkled with metallic weaves and twills.
Costelloe's must-haves for next season include "one or two maxi-dresses, a biker jacket, which you can wear over an evening dress -- and make sure your legs are in good shape".
His ss11 collection interpreted looks from the 1920s and 1930s like art deco and brought them into 2011.
"They are modern, slightly Barbarella, like a girl's night out coming home," said the designer, dressed in jacket, jeans and white plimsolls.
After more than 30 years in the business, during which time he has often been controversially outspoken, the Monkstown-born designer says his style is still developing. "I think I am freer; I don't care what people say," said Costelloe, who refuses to back down on his claim last season that celebrities-turned-designers like Victoria Beckham should not be in the fashion industry.
"When you have money, you can do a lot. Victoria Beckham will get bored. She is not a threat," he said.