Father of fashion - Paul Costelloe
Paul Costelloe gives tailoring a modern twist this season with stripped back silhouettes and a 'go with the flow' vibe in his new Studio collection
Landmark birthdays are meant to be celebrated in style but Paul Costelloe didn't have time for too much hoopla around blowing out candles.
This 70-year-old has a work ethic that would shame people half his age and the designer's creative output is quite awesome. There's the big format, high impact womenswear show at London Fashion Week, his formal menswear range, jewellery, bags and an ever-growing portfolio of 'Paul Costelloe Living' brands at Dunnes Stores. These include interiors, menswear, Studio womenswear and more recently, the addition of little girls' occasionwear dresses - something this doting granddad especially loves doing.
Admiring Paul's original artwork on canvases at the entrance to his catwalk show in London in February, I was struck by his productivity across so many mediums. And just as I was about to ask if the designer - who won the Texaco Young Artist of the Year at the tender age of 12 - if he might like more time off to indulge his love for painting, the 6ft 4in designer was swooped upon and taken off for photos by a gaggle of Made in Chelsea cast members who loved his AW16 collection so much, they wanted to borrow the samples.
That's a new generation of fans for Paul who turned 70 last year. He is busier now than ever before, but he's the first to say he has too much to do, too much to say in fashion terms, to even think of retiring and head off painting in the Tuscan hills.
Italy, he adores, and it's not just the inspiring scenery, it's the people there that make it special, in particular the tailors and gifted pattern cutters who Paul works with on his Studio collection for Dunnes Stores. Now in it's fourth season, the collection set out to deliver 'affordable luxury' and this season, it speaks to a woman who especially loves tailoring and fluid lines.
There are several 'hero' pieces in a techno fabric with all important 4pc elastane which looks like an expensive crepe and falls exceptionally well in the wide legged 'Lia' culottes (left) worn with a Breton striped top. It's a look that Chanel would have loved and the same fabric is cut into the 'Adriana' coat and 'Sienna' trousers (right) which fall beautifully.
There is something very luxe about a three-piece cream trouser suit. OK, it needs minding but the tailored jacket and trousers contrast with the feminine qualities of the silk blouse (€110). Of the two silk blouse styles offered, I love the one with concealed buttoning down the front and a gorgeous long, statement double button cuff.
What did we all do before the sleeveless waistcoat arrived to solve our 7am wardrobe dilemmas? Paul's 'Chloe' waistcoat (left) looks very chic with the wide culottes. He has two dresses, also in the techno fabric. The 'Valentina' has a round neck and the 'Juliana' (below) also features flattering seaming in the tummy/hips section. For those who might feel that long culottes are for super tall gals, Paul has cut the shorter 'Clara' culottes which fall to mid-calf and go exceptionally well with some of his knitwear pieces.
Thumbing my way through his collection at 'The World of Paul Costelloe' which Dunnes Stores opened beside their Galway store in Eyre Square (Paul is actually in store there today from 2-4pm to meet customers) I spied something I had been chasing for sometime and that was a summer poloneck (below). Paul's polo is a cape-style with rounded hem. It also comes in pink, ice blue and navy and I fully expect it's the kind of thing that women will love so much that they will buy it in every colour.
Another star is the fine gauge mohair knit (right), pretty ideal for women travelling who want something light to wear or whisk out of their handbag to combat the air conditioning - or morph into a pillow.
Yes, with age and experience comes an appreciation of what women want and veteran Costelloe has nailed it impressively.
All clothes, bags and scarves from the Paul Costelloe Living Studio range at Dunnes Stores, dunnestores.com
Stylist: Sara Dunn
Photographer: Stephen Langmanis
Model: Chloé Lecareux