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Costelloe pulls out of London Fashion Week after 21 years

Bairbre Power Fashion editor

Published 14/01/2012 | 05:00

Paul Costelloe has pulled out of London Fashion Week.

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The Dublin-born designer has been part of the twice-yearly event for the past 21 years, during which time he shot to fame dressing Princess Diana.

Mr Costelloe was given the high-profile 9am 'curtain raiser' opening show at the event for the last 10 years. However, the Irish designer yesterday confirmed that he is taking "a rain check" on London Fashion Week's autumn-winter 2012 collections, at which 50 designers will show at Somerset House between February 17-22.

The father of seven has pledged that he will return to the show -- one of the 'big four' international catwalk influencers along with Paris, New York and Milan, to show spring-summer 2013 collections -- next September.

"I'm taking a rain check for a season because I'm working on getting my mainline collection for autumn-winter 2012 into shops in August," said Paul.

"There was a delay in lining up a new licensing agreement for my womenswear mainline but we are in serious talks with two companies," said Paul.

His ability to fill shop rails and dress customers was affected 12 months ago when his backer of 10 years, Signature Brands, went into receivership. The AW 2011 collection marked the start of a new venture with new backer, Cesar Araujo of Calvelex, but that arrangement broke up and the collection did not go into commercial production which, Mr Costelloe acknowledged yesterday, "was a great shame because it was one of my best".

He still has a menswear licensing deal with Berwin & Berwin, which is sold at Arnotts and House of Fraser, a jewellery range and a homewares range with Dunnes Stores, which is to be expanded later in the year.

"I have my material and I'm ready to go but to be honest, I haven't missed doing LFW. There is the new Paul Costelloe handbag collection for AW 2012, and we are also looking at China where my son Robert is in discussion with developing the womenswear collection separately."

Irish Independent

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