Aurelio Costarella: A Lesson in Style

Nov 29 2013 by Beverly

Ray Costarella Museum

Aurelio Costarella. Image: Chantel Concei, Model: Simone Kerr.

There is something truly magical about slipping in to the perfect dress.

Imagine if you will a dress that hugs your curves, yet defines and flatters your shape, makes you feel super feminine yet also sexy, confident and off-the-charts glamorous.

That’s more than a dress – that’s an Aurelio Costarella.

Synonymous with style, Aurelio recently unveiled a 30 Year Retrospective exhibition at the Western Australian Museum which charts his journey through the fashion industry.

It’s a priviledged insight into the designer’s private world, where you’ll find his elegant pieces nestled in amongst the dinosaurs and stuffed animals in a delightful and unexpected juxtaposition.

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Dinosaurs & design.

The Style Trust was very fortunate to spend some time with Aurelio recently to ask him about the exhibition and his brilliant career.

TST: Congratulations on having such a long and successful career, how does it feel when you look back on 30 years in the fashion industry?

Aurelio: Overwhelming…magical…surreal.

TST: Did you choose the pieces for the exhibition?

Aurelio: It was a joint process with my Brand Manager Paul O’Connor who actually curated the exhibition. It came quite organically at first, then we had to make some tough decisions on what was going in, and what told the best story.

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Quirky cool. Headpiece by Reny Kestel.

TST: Was there any particular piece that bought back really special memories for you?

Aurelio: All pieces are special for various reasons, each highlight different times in my career. Paul had sourced some Super 8 footage that I had never seen before. It was taken in 2000 by film maker Fiona Prendergast, when I launched under the label Aurelio Costarella and Cate Blanchett came to the show. Seeing that for the first time last week bought back so many memories.

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Fiona Prendergast’s Super 8 footage.

TST: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Aurelio: There have been several. The first show as Aurelio Costarella in 2000 at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Sydney. My first New York Fashion Week show in 2007, dressing Rhianna, Dannii Minogue, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Dita Von Teese.

TST: What do you love about Australian fashion?

Aurelio: We don’t have as many rules about how we ‘must’ dress, we have an independent spirit.

TST: Whose style do you most admire?

Aurelio: I admire women in their 60s and 70s that have such a confident air and impeccable style about them. They don’t concern themselves with ‘fashion’ it’s all about ‘style’. It’s very different. They have been around long enough to have evolved and have a sense of who they are. Often younger women are still searching for this. Iris Apfel for me is an incredible style icon. I get more from her that any 20 year old ‘it’ girl. Women like Marisa Berenson, Tina Chow and Lou Lou De la Falaise have always been an inspiration to me.

Marisa Berenson            An iconic portrait of Marisa Berenson by Slim Aarons.

TST: Is there one celebrity you’ve worked with that you’ve really enjoyed dressing?

Aurelio: Dita Von Teese and Dannii Minogue. Both love fashion, style and elegance. They are so confident in their look and both are beautiful, kind and considerate to others. These attributes make it a joy to dress them.

Dannii in Ray

Dannii resplendent in Aurelio Costarella.

TST: What’s next for the brand?

Aurelio: It’s a very busy year ahead. A huge show at the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne in February, showcasing the winter collection in Paris, launching a new label, Australian Fashion Week in April, lots of activity in China and finalising a US distribution deal. A long list, it’s exciting.

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Flying high.

Don’t miss Aurelio Costarella A 30 Year Retrospective at the WA Museum from now until February 2, 2014.

Beverly.

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Odds are if you're looking for Beverly and can't find her she's somewhere quiet devouring a magazine from cover to cover with a glass of wine in hand. A fastidious editor, she has a love of cheek stains, beachy curls, and boho glam style (maxi dress obsessed!). But she truly believes her one true talent is being event ready in under 20 minutes.