L.A. Fashion Week: Michael Costello reigns with fire and ice

Looks from the MT Costello, left, and Michael Costello, right, runway collections presented Monday at Style Fashion Week in Los Angeles.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

At Style Fashion Week on Monday night, Michael Costello closed out the second slate of group runway shows with a twofer of sorts -- first presenting his ready-to-wear MT Costello collection, then dimming the lights and swapping out the sign at the top of the catwalk before presenting his made-to-order Michael Costello collection.

Usually we’d poke fun at that kind flourish of stagecraft -- but for two things. First, it meant we got a chance to see a lot more of Costello’s handiwork. Second, it meant twice as many opportunities to see the enthusiastic designer take his runway bow, stopping and stooping for hugs and scooping a tuxedo-clad Chihuahua up into his arms for what seemed like two heartfelt victory laps.

And in a way they were; the “Project Runway” alumnus could hardly have enjoyed a better testament to his talents than having Beyonce wear one of his made-to-order confections to the Grammy Awards in January.


Both runway collections were full of glamorous form-fitting dresses with sheer nude panel insets, the MT Costello range included burgundy gowns in stretch satin, va-va-voom curve-hugging strapless gowns in red velvet, black lace gowns, black beaded dresses with an Art Deco vibe and a handful of leather pieces, some with allover perforations, others with laser-cut designs.

While the Michael Costello line that followed had some pops of red (most notably in a diaphanous dress of draped red chiffon), it was dominated by icy white body-conscious dresses in lace, beading and chiffon. The standout silhouette, whether in peekaboo lace, mesh or both was the curve-hugging hourglass that flared out at the bottom to fishtail effect. (In an interview with The Times before showing at New York Fashion Week, Costello said this collection, called “Winter Wonderland,” had been inspired by New York City in winter.)

From red-carpet-worthy gowns to filmy near-lingerie naughtiness in warm reds, cold blacks and wintry whites, we didn’t need to check the thermostat to know that Michael Costello is on fire these days.


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