September 06, 2012
According to Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, the collection they showed this afternoon was all about love. But it was also—and this seems a strange thing to say about a show that emphasized beige dresses—very much about color. The strongest single idea offered here was to treat abstract prints as blocks of mottled color, and play the tones against each other. That idea was employed in several winning looks, in particular a body-skimming jumpsuit and an insouciantly sexy draped halter dress. Elsewhere, Costello and Tagliapietra continued to explore the possibilities of the AirDye technology they've taken to heart; the process spreads a super-thin coat of dye on one side of a fabric, and Costello and Tagliapietra use it to mimic the effect of contrast double-facing. A Botticelli-inspired halter dress showed off the trick best, with a dense drape of neon coral at the collar perking up the pale lavender below.
And then, on the other hand, there was non-color: those beige dresses. Perhaps the riskiest move a designer can make is to risk being boring, and here Costello and Tagliapietra faced the challenge with aplomb. There's not much to say about these dresses, except that they were expertly draped—which pretty much goes without saying when it comes to these designers—and that the color achieved what may well be the Platonic ideal of "neutral." They were also very good—discreet, yet a little suggestive in the way they hugged the body; kimono belted or sweetly tied with a bow—and will be catnip for the woman with a yen for feminine simplicity.