Fashion designer Paul Costelloe took full advantage of an unexpected stopover in Korea due to visa problems and used the time to find inspiration for his new collection which he brought to London Fashion Week today after an absence of 12 months.
Missing two seasons at LFW has put fire in the Dubliner's creative soul and he sprang back with a 36 outfit collection for Spring/Summer 2015 which was strong on luxurious textures and fabrics and modern in terms of silhouette and styling.
Paul took over a ballroom at the elegant Simpson's in the Strand, to launch his 'Angel in the Fields' collection where he played with volume. The majority of the hemlines were short, at least shorter than the classic ones that Paul's royal fans like the late Princess Diana, and the Middletons have worn in the past.
However, there's no doubt that Diana, a committed Costelloe fan, would have appreciated the newness in this revigorated range. The range is is playful and smacks of new energy and direction.
Pretty empire-line dresses in luxe metallic threads featured generously pleated skater skirts. There was nothing pastel about his choice of colours with orange, greens, golds and strong indigos and navys in hand-crafted floral jacquards from the hills of Biella in Italy.
And Paul's resolve is strong too, to push his brand "to new frontiers encompassing the new global influence of Asia" and the international heritage of his brand.
Korea may have provided some of the inspiration but the music for the catwalk show was Italian, with Perry Como crooning about Naples as the audience leaned forward to get a close up view of the short cropped jackets and structured trench coats.
Glamorous mac-style belted coats came with matching dresses and A-line, smock-style dresses were given a very contemporary styling with high heeled, laced trainers.
And as if to underline how busy he has been while missing from the LFW schedule, the designer confirmed that next month, he will be launching the Paul Costelloe 'Studio' capsule collection for Dunnes Stores, with whom he already has a menswear, interiors and communion dress range.Margaret Heffernan and members of her family travelled to London for Paul's teatime yesterday.
The creative streak certainly runs deep as Paul also announced that he is holding a joint art exhibition with three of his six sons, Paul Emmet, William and Nicholas, at the Sol gallery in Dublin on September19.
"The colours are bright and rich in beautiful fabrics. There is no print, it's all jacquards, which gives you that print effect. It gives a wonderful texture and a whole new look.
"I think this is definitely a show, it's done to reinvigorate the Costelloe brand, and Costelloe can still compete with any designer in the UK or Ireland. I have a specific style , I know what I want and I'm prepared to take on anybody," said Paul.