Thursday, September 18, 2008

Aurelio Costarella - Spring '09, Bryant Park

Ruffles reigned supreme at Aurelio Costarella’s Spring ’09 presentation last Thursday. If asked to sum up the collection in one word, I would have to say “feminine” -- O.K., “ULTRA-feminine.” Costarella knows how to dress women. The pieces floated gracefully down the catwalk with models appearing light as feathers (well, actually they were). Sheer fabrics of silk organza and chiffon helped to portray the light, airy mood of the collection, while satin and taffeta provided luxurious shine. The color palette was minimal with just a hint of color sneaking into the mainly neutral story.

Costarella played with proportion keeping silhouettes narrow and sleek while decorating them will full, layered ruffled treatments. Fabrics were multi layered creating dimension and organza’s nature maintained crisp shapes. Asymmetry was an important factor making a statement as many models bared one shoulder (which was a recurring trend throughout Fashion Week). I particularly adored a narrow black micro mini with a huge array of ruffles piled on the right shoulder.

There seemed to be a “black tie” message in the collection as Costarella utilized black and white quite liberally and the jacket made a statement on the runway (feminized with ruffled collars and peplum backs). He also showed cigarette pants, pencil skirts and even a modified version of a tuxedo shirt. He also played with construction by finishing seams on the outside. A few pieces were decorated with sequins or beads while still in keeping with the refined impression of the collection.

Ruching was another detail Costarella repeated throughout. He handled it in such a clever way by choosing just the right spots to add insets. I also loved the way he used different fabric types in some cases when layering the volumes and volumes of ruffles. This created even more visual interest adding dimension and helping to break up the solid colors (which was particularly effective with black on black). I’m not sure how I felt about his use of the oddly colored belts (doubled up many times); however it was an interesting way to add some focus to the waist.

Costarella’s Spring ’09 collection was so beautifully orchestrated. With every designer and every season, one can certainly find a piece or two that isn’t especially their favorite. In this case, I found a couple of dresses that were ruffled “to death” (especially the one wrapping around the arms), but that is just a reflection of my personal taste. These dresses were still spectacular and the rest of the collection was just so pretty, I didn’t even care.

-Stacy Lomman