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“Basically we met at The Sound Factory in New York,” says Robert Tagliapietra, one-half of design duo Costello Tagliapietra. “For three weekends in a row, we were too shy to talk to each other until finally one of Jeffrey’s good friends said, ‘I’m not going back again next week.’ Our friend introduced us and, then, that was it.”
“Robert was wearing a T-shirt with a plaid shirt around his waist,” Jeffrey Costello says. “He had suspenders on.”
“Jeffrey was wearing a T-shirt with a tie,” Tagliapietra says. “Yes, of course, it was love at first sight. We became an old couple within months.”
This year marks the 17th anniversary of Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra's personal and professional alliance. The duo—whose fall 2011 runway show we bring you after the jump—have been together since 1994 and their much-acclaimed line is sold at Barneys New York and select boutiques around the country.
Today, they share a balsam oil-scented live-work space—”It always smells like Christmastime in there,” Tagliapietra says. “It’s almost like visiting your grandmother.”—and one big closet.
“We have the exact same taste,” Tagliapietra says, “The only thing we don’t share are shoes. Jeffrey’s a 10, I’m a 12.”Photo credit: Getty Images
It’s a cruel truth in high fashion that hardly any importance at all is placed on women’s comfort. Ankles be damned in six-inch stilettos. Can’t walk in a pencil skirt? Too bad for you. The same goes for flattery—unless you’ve dieted down to (or are naturally) a size 0/2/4/6, better pray to the god of Spanx before even attempting to shimmy into a high-end runway look. Across the board, luxury fashion tends towards the exclusionary—one major designer even told us that she doesn’t make clothes in sizes larger than six because anyone bigger wouldn’t match up to her brand image.
That’s why Costello Tagliapietra—and, especially, the design duo’s fall 2011 collection—feels like a breath of fresh air this season. Like a Hitchcock blonde at a 70s house party, the rich, brilliant palette included vermillion red, cadmium yellow, mint, and grape eco-dyed environmentally-friendly fabrics worked into fluid, draped, generously-cut, figure-flattering silhouettes. It’s no surprise—Costello Tagliapietra’s ethos has always been woman-friendly; this season’s show notes even indicate that the duo place priority on “further [exploring] ideas of how to make sure that women still feel comfortable and secure.”