The Fashion Folk S02 ep8 : Paul Costelloe, Costelloe Fashion, [London]

Interview with Paul Costelloe

The Dublin-born designer continues to expand his successful business. One of the most established names in British fashion he has a loyal following for his wearable designs in his signature linens, tweeds and printed silks. This past year he has been expanding his UK based shops and European concessions. His collections are an essentially classic and fresh mix of tailoring, knitwear and dresses with three main aspects each season. His main line 'Collection' focuses on occasion dressing for day and evening using fine Italian fabrics. 'City' is a capsule range of strong tailored suiting at keen price points, perfect for the working woman. 'Dressage' is the leisure section of the collection; casual cords, denims mixed with butter soft nappa jackets, fine knits and jersey pieces for relaxed but stylish weekends.


How would you sort of describe this collection?

Costelloe: Very disciplined, understated chic, very well cut, if you just take the clothes off you’ll
just have a very beautiful naked woman underneath and that’s sort of Helmut Newton meets
Elizabeth Taylor.

Costelloe: Some of the more fluid styles were very much Elizabeth by her styling and that
structure was Helmut and was sort of that combination of aggressive but feminine, we tried to get
that combination across. What a load of bull in fact.

Costelloe: My favourite piece was probably the floral suit with the metallic colour you know.
Yeah, simple.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Costelloe: It’s the media of Helmut Newton, Elizabeth Taylor, dominant, both very strong people
and great photographer, who loved women and put them on very high heels, you’ve got end up the
prints and materials was very much Elizabeth Taylor from the time she was 24 to the time she was
60 and both amazing … picture, kaftans, those, that printed evening dress, that sort of you know
cocoon look was interesting. But I thought it was quite simple, feminine but sexy, it was surprised
she looked so … because she’s simple and yet quite strong and that’s what … putting women all of
the same make gives you one person and that’s interesting. I wouldn’t do it every season, but it’s
amazing the effect you can get.

Does Paul ever consult you I mean?

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Costelloe: Yes, I mean I wouldn’t have anything to do with the final product, but I go along to the
fabric shows and help choose the fabrics, but it’s only, really only as a support, nothing to do with
actually choosing anything. I have a sort of a very strange taste anyway and so some of the things I
couldn’t wear because I’m you know, I’ve got my own style. On the whole we, I don’t think he’s
ever really done anything I’ve really … no not really I mean he’s excellent with fabrics.

Costelloe: This winter it’s the … range. Not too different from the spring collection it was more, it
was more 60’s wasn’t it.

Costelloe: I’ve honestly taken the bull by the horns, I’ve been playing it safe for a long time and
then I decided fuck it, I just think you have to say look, if I’m going to go, let’s do it the way you
want to and stop worrying about other people’s opinions.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

Yeah but you’re not doing anything super over-outrageous.

Costelloe: No I’m not, no because I I’m commercial, but I think it’s still getting the tailoring right
for women is a very, I’m doing them a favour because I price, my pricing is not outrageous.

What is it about the London designers that gives them so much, such an edge?

Costelloe: Because they’ve got the best schools in the world, they’ve got the best colleges, we’ve
got St Martins, we’ve got Roy… School and all over the country there’s so many good colleges.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Did you come from any of those yourself?

Costelloe: No I didn’t.

So you came straight from

Costelloe: I sort of came from a hungry man who loved women.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Paul Costelloe, Costelloe Fashion, London