The scene was expertly set for an elegant affair at the French Room inside the historic Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas on September 28. When you mix the vivacity of a dynamic designer with a “no holds barred” Q&A session with local fashion influencers, however, the mood becomes less staged and more candid. From a Beyoncé-inspired chair dance to a spot-on Isaac Mizrahi impersonation, Michael Costello’s appearance at The Crowned Brunch went beyond a stuffy Sunday soirée; it was real.
Costello rose to fame after advancing to the final round of Project Runway, Season 8. The media exposure catapulted his talents to the forefront, allowing him to score celebrity clients including Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. While this period of rapid growth wasn’t without friction – as with Real Housewives of Orange County star, Alexis Bellino – Costello weathered the storm and continued to add covetable names to his client roster. Think Kim Kardashian, Jill Scott, and Angie Stone.
Over the course of sparkling champagne and fruit last Sunday in Dallas, Costello opened up about his meager beginnings, something he admits that he seldom discusses. He began by revealing that, as a young child, he played in secret with his sisters’ dolls and My Little Pony figurines after everyone fell sleep.
“All I wanted to do was braid [the pony’s] hair,” he joked. “I didn’t want to take the dolls clothes off or see them naked or anything. I would take toilet paper and drape toilet paper around them, and try to turn it into dresses for them and make them walk.”
While Costello candidly disclosed that his father was not as open to his passion for design as his mother and sisters, the budding artist pressed forward. He never let go of the one thing that kept him up at night – fashion.
Following his childhood hobby, it’s no coincidence that Costello is most celebrated for his innovative twists on draping. As a noted expert in this area, he has perfected the skill beyond paper to luxurious silk, chiffon, and jersey fabrics. Says the designer of the delicious technique, “Draping is like liquid gelato on the runway.”
This tasty quote was just the beginning. From discussions of his previously arranged marriage, to expressing his despise over the high-waisted jeans trend, The Crowned Brunch event was more than just a peek into Michael Costello’s life. It was comparable to a family affair. We caught up with the designer following the meal to briefly chat about his thoughts on Dallas style, blogger pet peeves, and of course, future plans. Read on for the scoop:
DFW Style Daily: What are your overall thoughts on the women of Dallas and their style?
Michael Costello: “I’ve been seeing some really short dresses in Dallas. I like the short dresses, and the bright colors. I’m noticing there’s a trend surrounding these in Dallas, and I say, ‘Keep it coming – it looks hot!’”
We recently covered a possible divide growing between designers and fashion bloggers, when it comes to New York Fashion Week and similar events. What is your opinion on bloggers, and how do you respond to this concern?
“It’s a hard question. Obviously, I support blogging. I like it, and I think it’s important. I did blogging for Project Runway for a few of the seasons [following mine]. I think that the way social media is going these days, blogging is up there with it. It’s our next big thing.
“If we didn’t have magazine editors and people who interview for magazines, then what else do we have? We have blogging. It’s the next form of something that is needed. I’m hoping the shows are more open next season to having more bloggers attend.”
What’s next for the Michael Costello brand?
“I was inspired by the décor at Hotel Zaza, and the black and white artwork on the walls. My mind started immediately thinking of platinum snow angels and porcelain china dolls. …So, maybe a runway show with platinum wigs on ethnic women.”
As the animated designer wound down and prepared to exit the Adolphus Hotel, the inspiration of his life lingered for guests. As Costello waved goodbye, the motto he so passionately expressed echoed through the room: “When preparation meets opportunity, that’s where you meet success.”
For more information, visit www.MichaelCostelloCouture.com. All photos, credit Thomas Garza Photography.