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London Fashion Week AW24 Highlights: Paul Costelloe's Manhattan moment

Chloe Burney
16 February 2024

Paul Costelloe has taken residence at Lindley Hall once again, this time for the "Once upon a Time" AW24 collection. However, for the first time in its history, the South East London architectural marvel has been transformed into a scene that resembles New York City's Lower East Side.

As the crowd of fashion editors and influencers filtered into the grand hall, one that resembles a greenhouse worthy of royalty, smoke filled the air as if the steam from a subway grate was rising above the catwalk. The sketched backdrop of NYC apartments helped to immerse the audience deeper into the city streets.

Onlookers awaited to see what the Irish designer had put together as, in true Costelloe fashion, music blared from the stereos. Then the first five models arrived, decked in white woollen frocks and matching jackets. They stood still on the runway as the crowd's arms dashed up to capture the moment for social media.

The next set of ensembles took the "Limerick meets Downtown New York" theme to the next level. Silk shirts, two pieces and skin-tight trousers were adorned in a taxi-cab imbued print. These were mixed and matched with tartan prints and solid heavy woollen garments, fusing the location of inspiration and the brand's identity together in one cohesive aesthetic.

Though set on the streets of Downtown New York, the collection was just as worthy of Uptown. Hey Upper East Siders, this one's for you too.

The designer commented: "This collection expresses my view that classics design still has its place in high fashion, I have added a personal moment of nostalgia but adding a print based on the street where I once lived. It was a glorious moment to dream and live."

Leather jodhpurs, voluminous shapes and countryside tartans were presented in a way that slotted them seamlessly into the city-goer's wardrobe.

The designer also included heavy coats to shelter under as the wind blows across the city from East to West. Yet, there was still an element of lightness in the form of winter florals and puff ball skirts - which are one of the upcoming season's top trends. If there's one thing Paul Costelloe knows, its how to bring the light hearted whims of summer into the colder season.

The only thing missing from the collection was the designer himself, who left a personal note on each seat informing show attendees that he couldn't be present due to contracting a virus, "but, as they say, the show much go on".

Photo credit: Ben Broomfield

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