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London Fashion Week FW2011: Paul Costelloe

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Whisper bold metallics, dreamy pastels, and classic flirty silhouettes and you’ve got our undivided attention. Paul Costelloe’s Fall/Winter 2011 collection, inspired by colour, Irish tweed and Boulevard Saint-Honoré in the late sixties, ticks all those boxes with pieces in vivid colours, eyeball-grabbing fabrics and feminine shapes that somehow undermine the ongoing trend of androgyny in both men and women’s fashion. And that’s a good thing.

Sure, wearing men’s suits and cutting them cut to fit a woman’s physique can be fun – if you like doing that ridiculously clichéd female Karl Lagerfeld look – but nothing beats getting into a circle-hemmed, distorted check frock with red and shiny cerise quasi-boxes and showing the world just how much you enjoy being a woman (because only the female gender, the Scots and Marc Jacobs can wear bottoms that don’t have legs).

One of the more striking pieces in this line is the tamarillo tweed number with gill-like accents on the neckline. Successfully fusing conservative tailoring with radical detailing, the dress pays homage to timeless shapes of the past but makes absolutely clear that it was made in the 21st century, thanks to the edgy gills. Those and the higher-than-the-fingertips hemline.

The collection shown at London Fashion Week also paves the way for the continued resurgence of plaid in fashion, this time with no inhibition whatsoever in terms of the hues being positioned in perpendicularity to each other. It’s like the lumberjacks just threw the towel and decided to become metrosexuals so they can wear mustard and hot pink. Could it be another attempt by the designer at championing femininity? Maybe that’s what the Boulevard Saint-Honore bit is about.

All photographs by Duilio Marconi exclusive to La Moda Dubai

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