Two generations of Irish designers will present themselves at London Fashion Week in the coming days. After three seasons of disruption and virtual shows without an audience, they’re back on the runway with colour, innovation and different storytelling styles.
aul Costelloe believes that “fortune favors the brave” and nearly four decades after his debut appearance at London Fashion Week in 1984, the veteran designer yesterday released a catwalk collection that showcased his painterly skills and exceptional talent for tailoring .
The Dubliner is a household name with a fan base that has included members of the British royal family since he dressed Princess Diana in Irish linen in the 1980s.
He dressed the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 and dressed members of the bride’s family.
In a tribute to the late Queen, who Costelloe met during her 2011 visit to Dublin, the designer’s operatic daughter Jessica and two of his six sons, Robert and William, performed yesterday Jerusalem at the opening of the 11 o’clock show.
In an otherwise colorful show, in which the models all wore short blonde wigs over light-colored clothing and accessories, Costelloe decided to change the format two days after the British monarch’s death, opening with a model wearing a long black dress and a wore a black wig with music from three of his seven adult children.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) has decided to continue the SS23 season of London Fashion Week as planned, albeit significantly reduced, with no shows on Monday.
Yesterday’s opening day was noticeably muted on social media surrounding the shows.
In a statement, the BFC said: “London Fashion Week is a business-to-business event and is a key moment for designers to showcase their collections at a specific point in the fashion calendar. We recognize the work that is in this moment.”
Shows due to take place next Monday, the day of the Queen’s funeral, have been postponed and the BFC called for “designers to respect the mood of the nation and the time of national mourning by considering the timing of their image release”.
video of the day
Costelloe’s show yesterday featured silhouettes in a riot of color, with paint-box primaries featuring lots of bold shades of yellow from a canary-yellow poly-blend that looked like a super-luxe satin to pale-lemon accessories, all beginning and ending with oranges and reds were covered with a watercolor dream world.
Costelloe even found time to praise lilac, a color he used to fear, but like others in the rag industry, he admits he’s a new, albeit late, fan and has used it effectively with jewel-toned purples.
He introduced a bionic woman with strength who added a touch of a Bridgerton-inspired silhouette with a lamp skin style skirt to the floral dress to close the show.
There was drama with strong shoulders and a particular shoulder pad he calls “bowling pin” because of the exaggerated line it delivers.
So where does courage come in, I asked the 76-year-old designer?
“I like to constantly challenge myself and do new things,” he says.
“I never look back, it’s always about moving forward, keeping the brand young and that’s a privilege.
“Doing a show like this is scary – it’s not cheap but I’m already thinking about my Fall/Winter ’23 collection and it will be based on Molly Bloom.”
Kerry-born Colin Horgan, a new-gen star poised for success, was originally scheduled to be screened on his 31st birthday today, but a recalibrated schedule will see him wait until Tuesday morning to make his debut metaverse experience for his presentation in the British Fashion Council Discovery LAB SS23.
It’s an interesting hybrid for its young audience, and alongside its ‘scheduled’ London Fashion Week digital platform, Horgan will be sharing his Imposed faction Video, recordings in an industrial hall behind a furniture store in Ardfert, just a few meters from his studio.
The multidisciplinary space has been designed and curated for a groundbreaking fashion week experience, allowing invited global press and buyers to attend its London Fashion Week metaverse and interact with all facets of the SS23 collection and brand, explore sequential runway looks, explore technical craft details up close, hair and makeup showcases, backstage access and post-show interviews and runway playlists.
Shoppers can navigate through each look within the collection and access Kommon Kollective on Horgan’s virtual showroom, operated by Irish company SKMMP.
Next Tuesday he will be exhibiting at the biennial London Fashion Week for the fifth time.
He said, “It’s been a really exciting time creating an extension of my creative process that is accessible to our B2B and global Fashion Week guests.”
The designer, who returned to Ardfert during the pandemic, said his metaverse Experience “enables the guest to step through a parallel world that fully celebrates all elements of my collection, both visually and sonically”.
“Equally, the space allows for the presentation to be broken down into collection visualizations that are easily accessible and interact with your avatar,” he added. “I see my work as a bit more technical and I felt like it was going to become a bit of a trend now or never.
“Look through the metaverse Space, it really is like an extension of my brain that you are entering.
https://www.independent.ie/style/paul-costelloe-and-colin-horgan-two-generations-of-irish-designers-leave-mark-on-london-fashion-week-41996061.html Paul Costelloe and Colin Horgan: Two generations of Irish designers shaped London Fashion Week