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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Paul Costelloe (by Matt)

Paul Costelloe opened London Fashion Week A/W 2011 yesterday, as per usual. It was a riot of colour and a bloody wonderful start to the day - with illustrations by Lesley Barnes and Maria Papadimitriou!

Written by Matt Bramford

Jena.Theo Valkyrie by Matilde Sazio
Jena Theo Matilde SazioJena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, abortion Illustration by Matilde Sazio

I was ushered in through the door by a geezer of a Londoner chap, viagra order straight through to a high heeled officious lady, find then again to the very highest heels clinking their way to the front row to show me my seat. There were bags on my seat. Bags filled with goodies. Splendid. The lady next to me was bouncing her baby on her knee, as said baby was knawing on a pain au chocolat. “Nice earmuffs” I said to her, pointing towards her penguin earmuffs on her head. “To protect her from the sound. It can get very loud. But she does love it here. Loves the shows.” How much do I want a chilled out, cute baby like her. Also, cool mother! I know mothers who wouldn’t take their child to Tescos for fear of its screaming the flourescently lit shed down. To the left, was a mad, bright white, highly lit, flashing, mini bulb, sensation. Magic eyes, transfixing, blinding… The lady next to me shields her eyes for a bit, because of the intensity! Then it all went dark and we were treated to intro music as the anticipation built. Dum, dum, dum….dum… dum. EXCITED.

Karina Yarv
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Karina Yarv

The show began. I was pleased to see that what was being presented was completely wearable. Definitely in London. Perhaps less so in Bristol – it was slightly ‘too’ urban for the West Country. However, if I had a choice (and el cash), some of those pieces would be getting worn in Falfael King and that secret bar we’ve been meaning to go to for a while… at least supper club. Or – ah see, I kind of want to move to London- again. Don’t get the wrong impression of Briz, I beg you. Anyway, the show was very charcoal, black and cream orientated. The models all had black stripes across their eyes and otherwise bare faces. This made them look like mysterious, moody superheros. I liked it, as it really set of the simple coloured, pieces; the models all expressionless (course), their masks and the movement of the light or dark pieces worked together perfectly. It felt like we were on the sea, with norwegian heroines. Swishing slowly about, their heels never falter, their gaze exact, the path has been set and the grey skies are dappled with stars, as the storm takes hold. These strong warriors will take us with their capes flowing behind them, their hair dancing in the wind.

Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio

My favourite piece was one with an almost bustling at the back, flowing down to the ground, in one swipe. The front was a mini, the back was the drama, the fantasy.
Jena Theo Matilde SazioJena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, order Illustration by Matilde Sazio

I was ushered in through the door by a geezer of a Londoner chap, straight through to a high heeled officious lady, then again to the very highest heels clinking their way to the front row to show me my seat. There were bags on my seat. Bags filled with goodies. Splendid. The lady next to me was bouncing her baby on her knee, as said baby was knawing on a pain au chocolat. “Nice earmuffs” I said to her, pointing towards her penguin earmuffs on her head. “To protect her from the sound. It can get very loud. But she does love it here. Loves the shows.” How much do I want a chilled out, cute baby like her. Also, cool mother! I know mothers who wouldn’t take their child to Tescos for fear of its screaming the flourescently lit shed down. To the left, was a mad, bright white, highly lit, flashing, mini bulb, sensation. Magic eyes, transfixing, blinding… The lady next to me shields her eyes for a bit, because of the intensity! Then it all went dark and we were treated to intro music as the anticipation built. Dum, dum, dum….dum… dum. EXCITED.

Karina Yarv
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Karina Yarv

The show began. I was pleased to see that what was being presented was completely wearable. Definitely in London. Perhaps less so in Bristol – it was slightly ‘too’ urban for the West Country. However, if I had a choice (and el cash), some of those pieces would be getting worn in Falfael King and that secret bar we’ve been meaning to go to for a while… at least supper club. Or – ah see, I kind of want to move to London- again. Don’t get the wrong impression of Briz, I beg you. Anyway, the show was very charcoal, black and cream orientated. The models all had black stripes across their eyes and otherwise bare faces. This made them look like mysterious, moody superheros. I liked it, as it really set of the simple coloured, pieces; the models all expressionless (course), their masks and the movement of the light or dark pieces worked together perfectly. It felt like we were on the sea, with norwegian heroines. Swishing slowly about, their heels never falter, their gaze exact, the path has been set and the grey skies are dappled with stars, as the storm takes hold. These strong warriors will take us with their capes flowing behind them, their hair dancing in the wind.

Jena.Theo Valkyrie by Matilde Sazio< Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio

My favourite piece was one with an almost bustling at the back, flowing down to the ground, in one swipe. The front was a mini, the back was the drama, the fantasy.
Jena Theo Matilde SazioJena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, no rx Illustration by Matilde Sazio

I was ushered in through the door by a geezer of a Londoner chap, side effects straight through to a high heeled officious lady, then again to the very highest heels clinking their way to the front row to show me my seat. There were bags on my seat. Bags filled with goodies. Splendid. The lady next to me was bouncing her baby on her knee, as said baby was knawing on a pain au chocolat. “Nice earmuffs” I said to her, pointing towards her penguin earmuffs on her head. “To protect her from the sound. It can get very loud. But she does love it here. Loves the shows.” How much do I want a chilled out, cute baby like her. Also, cool mother! I know mothers who wouldn’t take their child to Tescos for fear of its screaming the flourescently lit shed down. To the left, was a mad, bright white, highly lit, flashing, mini bulb, sensation. Magic eyes, transfixing, blinding… The lady next to me shields her eyes for a bit, because of the intensity! Then it all went dark and we were treated to intro music as the anticipation built. Dum, dum, dum….dum… dum. EXCITED.

Karina Yarv
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Karina Yarv

The show began. I was pleased to see that what was being presented was completely wearable. Definitely in London. Perhaps less so in Bristol – it was slightly ‘too’ urban for the West Country. However, if I had a choice (and el cash), some of those pieces would be getting worn in Falfael King and that secret bar we’ve been meaning to go to for a while… at least supper club. Or – ah see, I kind of want to move to London- again. Don’t get the wrong impression of Briz, I beg you. Anyway, the show was very charcoal, black and cream orientated. The models all had black stripes across their eyes and otherwise bare faces. This made them look like mysterious, moody superheros. I liked it, as it really set of the simple coloured, pieces; the models all expressionless (course), their masks and the movement of the light or dark pieces worked together perfectly. It felt like we were on the sea, with norwegian heroines. Swishing slowly about, their heels never falter, their gaze exact, the path has been set and the grey skies are dappled with stars, as the storm takes hold. These strong warriors will take us with their capes flowing behind them, their hair dancing in the wind.

Jena.Theo Valkyrie by Matilde Sazio< Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio

My favourite piece was one with an almost bustling at the back, flowing down to the ground, in one swipe. The front was a mini, the back was the drama, the fantasy. I would love to wear this one standing at the front of a ship. Not a ferry, a ship. Jena.Theo designs were indeed simple, but they are deserving of their sparkling lights.

Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

I’ll never say a bad word about Mr Paul Costelloe. His was the first on-schedule show I ever saw, for sale back in 2008. It was a disaster – you can read my review here (my have we come a long way with our fashion week reviews). Despite that particular experience being pretty traumatic, diagnosis I always look forward to what he’ll present us each season, and I genuinely believe he’s the most underrated designer on the schedule – AND he always gets that hideous graveyard 9.30am opening slot. Anyway, enough of the pity, I’m sure he gets along just fine.


Paul Costelloe chatting outside the tent, post-show. All photography by Matt Bramford

Of course, this wouldn’t be fashion week without a cycling trauma, and it was on Friday morning that my back brake completely went so I was left only with the front one, guaranteed to send me flying over the handlebars should I actually need to stop. A quick trip into miserable Evans Cycles soon sorted this but meant I had to dash like a lunatic to Somerset House and just managed to leg it inside before the show started.


Illustration by Lesley Barnes

I was disappointed not to be saddled up against those two lovely old dears I met last time – this time I endured a rather unforgiving fashion blogger. I tend to stand at the top of one of the aisles to secure good pictures, but said fashion blogger deemed it acceptable to stand in front of me. I politely explained that I had chosen that spot on purpose, and I would really appreciate it if she’d take her enormous Mulberry bag and ridiculously large coat somewhere else. She moved an inch to the left. Cheers, then!

God I’m going on a bit, aren’t I? Well, the show itself was brilliant. This season saw Costelloe move in a more sophisticated direction. The catwalk was awash with luxurious tweeds and tartans in vibrant colours. Structured twin-sets with a contemporary edge stood side-by-side a-line dresses in unusual materials; delicious floral prints were teamed with cropped blazers, while hints of military on more a-line dresses were complimented with a roaring forties/fabulous fifties soundtrack of Bobby Darin and The Andrews Sisters (maybe). Poker-straight red wigs added a sexy, playful edge to what is a more mature range of womenswear.

Last season I wasn’t that struck on the menswear, but this year I am ALL OVER IT. Again, taking a more sophisticated direction, sharp suits (in similar tartans and tweeds to those seen on the girls) were aplenty. Floor length coats and double-breasted blazers really complimented the womenswear. Contrasting trousers in really bright colours were paired with tame blazers, allowing Costelloe’s men to be quirky but smart at the same time.


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

It was a massive collection – the biggest I saw during the day – but each piece had been carefully selected to compliment the next and never was it boring. The only way I could have enjoyed the show more was if Unforgiving Fashion Blogger hadn’t been such a knob. Hilariously she was fighting for my prime photographer’s spot to take pictures with her Blackberry! Well, I ask you.

Another great outing for PC, though. Long may he reign – in a sea of often miserable A/W 2011 dark collections, his whimsical approach and playful colours are a ray of sunshine.

All photography by Matt Bramford

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