Saturday 1 October 2016

Paul Costelloe takes 'Mad Max' warrior wear to London Fashion Week

Published 20/02/2016 | 02:30

Designs from Paul Costelloe's AW16 collection. Photo: Debbie Bragg
Designs from Paul Costelloe's AW16 collection. Photo: Debbie Bragg
Designs from Paul Costelloe's AW16 collection. Photo: Debbie Bragg
Designs from Paul Costelloe's AW16 collection. Photo: Debbie Bragg
AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe
Designs from Paul Costelloe's AW16 collection. Photo: Debbie Bragg
AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe

Funny what inspiration you can find on a long-haul flight to Vietnam.

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Designer Paul Costelloe watched the 'Mad Max Fury' movie - and out of that grew the inspiration for his warrior woman, who he introduced to us in a number of very different guises in his autumn/winter 16 collection, which was launched at the opening day of London Fashion Week.

Two packed-out, back-to-back teatime shows studded with a heavy sprinkling of celebrity gals all wearing his last collection were testimony to the enduring appeal of the Dubliner's skill at tailoring and sourcing unusual fabrics.

But this show turned heads around and around.

AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe

It was Paul Costelloe as we have never seen him before, not just for the evolving silhouettes but for the fabrics too. Ultra-sheer tops with pantaloons, sexy tiered dresses, some nipped in with deep leather corsets, grey pleather cut into a red carpet-style long dress with thigh-high slit, and a knobbly, bouclé, monochrome tweed with exaggerated wide cuffs.

In fact, everything was exaggerated - from the short dresses with over-the-knee socks to the mermaid-like, high-gloss patent dresses, finishing with a high-gloss maxi coat.

A burnt-through wool transformed into a stunning navy military jacket sparked a chorus of "I want" at the spontaneous after-show party in the bar of Le Meridien hotel in Piccadilly, where Storm Keating and Vogue Williams were in attendance.

I loved the funnel-necked, flared navy jacket, worn over a short skirt that replicated the flared silhouette, only longer.

AW16 Paul Costelloe
AW16 Paul Costelloe

Paul excelled with his Italian 'memory' techno fabric, with three layers -including foil -which means once you roll it up, or tweak it into place, it doesn't move. If only life was like that. Genius.

Styling included over-the-knee schoolgirl socks.

Backstage, Costelloe confessed a fondness for the olive check dress with voile, accessorised with brown leather bag and long black gloves: "I hope this collection conveys my aspirations in moving the Paul Costelloe brand forward in an exciting and unconventional manner," said the designer.

Designs from Paul Costelloe's AW16 collection. Photo: Debbie Bragg
Designs from Paul Costelloe's AW16 collection. Photo: Debbie Bragg

Irish Independent

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