NYFW: Striking the Balance with Costello Tagliapietra

NY fashion week

Femininity meets power-play in Costello Tagliapietra’s Fall/Winter ’13 collection at New York Fashion Week.

Stitched from the see-sawing juxtapositions of life, thoughtfully constructed dresses, like the ones that glided down the runway of the Costello Tagliapietra Fall/Winter 2013 show this week, have a story to tell. And if these dresses, jumpsuits and alpaca cloaks could talk, there would be conversations to be had.

From boardroom banter to cocktail chatter, they whisper of femininity, power and mysticism. Over weekend cappuccinos, they share their secrets in finding a graceful balance between femininity and masculinity, between power and sweetness. And, because they are the carefully crafted garments of Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, the design duo behind the line, they murmur one word again and again: sensuality.


When I first met the endearing business- and life- partners following their Spring/Summer 2013 showcase, the same, singular word, came up repeatedly.  At first, it seemed surprising to hear two burly men speak so softly about a woman’s emotions and desires—about sensuality. So this time I asked how it is that they simply ‘get’ women.  “It’s easy, really,” says Tagliapietra.  “Most of our friends are women, and we grew up with sisters.  We just surround ourselves by women. Strong women.”


With its Fall/Winter collection, Costello Tagliapietra calls forth the ‘working woman’s wardrobe’.  “It’s powerful, and it’s feminine,” says Costello. “Our woman is not afraid to embrace her femininity.” It’s this yin and the yang—the pairing of a slinky polyester dress color blocked using AirDye technology, contrasted with an alpaca caplette, sourced from Tagliapietra’s mother, the owner of an alpaca farm in New Jersey—that makes this collection so wearable. “We love that the alpaca comes from a women-run operation; we love that the animals aren’t harmed; and we love the whole farm-to-table mentality,” Tagliapietra proudly adds. Opposites really do attract—from runway-to-real world, in a magnetizing way.


Backstage: Designers Robert Tagliapietra (left) and Jeffrey Costello (right).

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Photos: Jennifer Barckley

Jennifer Barckley

Jennifer currently resides in New York City where she covers eco fashion and beauty for EcoSalon.