Thursday night designer Michael Costello, known for his participation in Project Runway and stunning gowns and jumpsuits that have graced the red carpets on stars like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Laverne Cox and more, presented his Brigitte Bardot, sexy 50’s-inspired collection at Scottsdale Fashion Week. With smokey eyes, big hair, mermaid silhouettes and bass-heavy, mystic music in the background, Costello’s creation left audiences’ jaws on the floor, dropped in awe. Arizona Foothills spoke with Costello after the show to see how he felt about the performance.
Where’d the inspiration for tonight’s show come from?
The inspiration for the line has to do with Brigitte Bardot and the whole sexiness of 50’s fashion but with a unique modern sexy twist on it. I loved playing and introducing the Michael Costello signature silhouette, which is the classic mermaid for me, but doing it in a more modern, edgy, fashion forward way. And honestly, inspiration – I think I evolve as a designer, and I constantly inspire myself.
Do you have any fashion icons or role models?
I love Diane Von Furstenberg as a designer and a businesswoman; I totally respect her and think she’s incredible. Someone who I aspire to be like one day is definitely Elie Saab or Zuhair Murad… I love the Mediterranean designers, and I think their work in incredible.
Has designing for celebrities changed your artistic process?
No, not at all! I think each celebrity or artist that we design for has their own unique and individual personal style, and they love to best try and show that – whether it’s through a performance or like a movie, or if they’re on stage… whatever their event is, we try to design with them in mind…We try to accommodate them best but stay true to the original Michael Costello aesthetic.
How did it feel showcasing your work tonight in Arizona?
This was fun. I love the girls so much. I think Ford/Robert Black really delivered with the models. I was just really, really impressed with the girls. No trips! No one fell! So to me, if no one falls in a runway show, I love that. That made me so happy. And just coming to Scottsdale and seeing everyone… and my friends. Then I just met this girl who I’m obsessed with, Remi. (Remi Bennett, a Ford Robert Black model). I just love it here! Arizona was once my home when I was 10 years old. I lived on 35th and Camelback. I think it was avenue. The first time I ever got arrested for shoplifting was here! I was 11 years old, and I stole Revlon new Lash Blast Ultra Voluminous mascara. It was worth it!
How long did it take you to prepare all the looks for tonight’s show?
To be honest, on the drive up here we were kind of like an hour and a half late because I still made two looks before the show. It was the first look and the 16th look. The opening look was this long cape jumpsuit with the sparkly pants, which I’m obsessed with. We were late and my friend Xixi and I were driving up, and she was like, “You need to hurry up! Do we have to have this look in the show?” I’m like, “Yes! It’s going to be the opening look.” So we were late for our fittings and castings because I had to make two more looks, but overall the collection, I started on it right after New York Fashion Week in September, and I had everything done within the last six months.
Do you feel like your vision was accomplished tonight?
You know what’s so weird? I never feel fulfilled, and I never settle down, and I’m never happy. I’m sure I’m going to find like 10 million things to complain about after I watch it on TV or watch it. But I loved every look, and I love the way the girls look, and I think everything from the hair and the makeup was just spectacular and spot on. So I need to stop being hard on myself and accept it for what it was, which was a badass show!
Remi Bennett of Ford/Robert Black Agency