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Costello Tagliapietra  NY Fashion Week Fall 2005

Fashion Ledge - Costello Tagliapietra
Born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Jeffrey Costello spent his early years in New York City as a freelance designer, creating costumes for various musicians and celebrities including Madonna, Debi Mazar, Nina Hagen, and Flock of Seagulls, Depeche Mode, and Salt-N-Pepa. Along with longtime partner, New York native and Parson’s School of Design painting graduate, Robert Tagliapietra they have created a signature line that pulls together both of their aesthetics into a concise ready-to-wear collection that borders on the couture in technique and process. Costello and Tagliapietra were trained at an early age by their grandmothers in the finer points in tailoring (both of whom, worked for Norman Norell in the Sixties). The designer’s learned as children how to construct and design the perfect garment.

Working with jerseys and playing with the tension between fabric, drape and silhouette, the designers have created a unique vision, somewhere between fairy tale, uniform and beauty. Given that perfection of their craft is the goal Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra strive to achieve in their work, their designs, beautiful both inside and out, are masterfully finished with gussets, bound edges and French seams. The result is an expertly tailored, timeless, collection perfect for the modern woman. Utilizing the history of jerseys, the designers have settled on treating their work in the same way that their predecessors have with this same medium. Referencing and combining aspects of Madame Gres’ usage of drape and Jean Muir or Geoffrey Beene’s tailoring techniques to create a method of working with jersey that is uniquely their own.

Costello and Tagliapietra were chosen by Editor/Stylist Arianne Phillips to be included in a book being published by Phaidon Press representing influential designers from the past five years. They have recently finished work on the Bruce Springsteen world tour and plan to continue with Patti Scialfa’s upcoming world tour; contributing to the wardrobes of both Bruce and Patti Springsteen, including appearances on the MTV Music Awards as well as all other television appearances. Other projects that they have worked on include designing costumes for the Levi's Red sponsored, Fischerspooner show and accompanying short film, Sweetness, as well as costuming Nine-Inch Nail’s European and American tours and various television appearances including The MTV Music Awards. Costello and Tagliapietra also designed the costumes for the Off-Broadway production of La Chunga featuring Shalom Harlow and produced by the Innocent Theater Company in association with Visionare Magazine. Costello’s work has been featured in films including Zoolander, Woo, Goodfella’s, Jungle Fever, Showgirls and music videos, most notably, Madonna’s Bedtime Story and Massive Attack’s Sly. Costello’s designs were also included in an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, entitled Swords into Ploughshares, which showcased military inspired fashion.

Photographed by Kenyatta D. Pious
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