Costelloe finds inspiration in Celtic art at London Fashion Week

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The sounds of Patrick Cassidy’s Children of Lir filled the Palm Court at London’s Waldorf Hotel as Paul Costelloe showed off his Spring-Summer 2022 fashion collection, which is almost a love letter to Ireland.

is on the opening day of the five-day London Fashion Week (LFW) for the coming spring-summer 22nd
Season was a quintessentially Irish affair, from the fabrics, to the choice of closing music, to the jewelry, to the important inspiration.

The designer found his inspiration in Celtic art and the Book of Kells – the illuminated manuscripts of the four Gospels in Latin.

He has lived in London for 30 years but came to Dublin for the Book of Kells at Trinity College Long Room with his artist son William, who in turn created motifs of Celtic swirls and dragon heads that were printed on fabric in Italy. They also decorated the show set.

Costelloe made a point of using many printed and woven linen from all over Ireland, from Emblem Weavers in Wexford to William Clark in Maghera, Derry, Ireland’s oldest linen factory dating back to 1736.

Costelloe spoke about the philosophy of this collection in front of his LFW audience: “I saw it very much from an Irish point of view, because I believe Ireland is a country that is in fashion, because it is such a bizarre and interesting place.”

Committed to the designer to keep Ireland and its traditional fabrics relevant, the designer transformed linen into playful summer silhouettes that turned elaborate needle stitches into a beautiful feature.

The white marble ballroom at the Waldorf Hotel would normally be filled with celebrities for Costelloe’s seasonal shows at London Fashion Week, but this season Costelloe opted for a digital presentation that he’ll share with clients around the world.

He shot his digital presentation a week ago, and his new season includes a wide variety of silhouettes, from relaxed caftans to the Book of Kells-inspired motifs in neutral colors to party-inspired flounced dresses.

There was short, single-row waisted jackets with strong shoulders, long lapels or curved front jackets with a tulip-shaped hem.

All ages were catered for, from the short one Babydoll dresses with a bib front through to the modern longline cut in cotton and woven blends from Italy or belt macs in shiny blue patent leather.

In order not to miss a trend, in addition to its occasional dresses and luxury accessories, Costelloe has also used a lot of lycra as core pieces for layering as fashion continues to be very active.

He concluded his presentation with models in shades of blue – from the color of a glorious sky on a good day in Wexford to an ink blue that may have been a nod to the hardworking monks of Iona.

Quite like the monks who worked on it Making manuscripts out of it is a different matter.

“I think some of the looks are a bit riskier than the monks would have been happy,” said Costelloe with a grin.


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