Monday, September 29, 2014

The Crowned Brunch Series Brings Designer Michael Costello To The Adolphus

Cynthia Smoot with Michael Costello
photo by Thomas Garza
Like many TV-obsessed Americans, I was first introduced to Michael Costello when he appeared on Project Runway Season 8 (he finished in 4th place). He returned to the franchise again for Project Runway All-Star Season 1.

Since the show, Costello has gone on to become one of the show's most commercially successful alums dressing celebrities from coast to coast. His client list includes Khloe and Kim Karsahian, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Selma Hayek and Nicole Ritchie. His latest coup was designing many of the show costumes for Beyonce's On The Run tour.

On Sunday, September 28 The Crowned Brunch Series brought Costello to the Adolphus Hotel for "Deeper Than The Dress: An Intimate Conversation" Guests enjoyed a delicious brunch inside the French Room while Costello regaled the crowd with hilarious stories of his childhood: cutting up his sisters clothes to create outfits for their dolls, obsessing over their My Little Pony and Jem dolls, a peek behind the curtain at life inside the Gypsy culture, an arranged marriage that produced two children before coming out and behind-the-scenes scoop from his time on Project Runway.

Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Beyonce in Michael Costello Couture

Costello also dished on what it's like to work with celebrities: Kim Kardashian is a delight to work with and always responds within minutes to a text or email. Everyone on Beyonce's team refers to her as "She". His most difficult celebrity client has been Alexis Bellino from Bravo's Real Housewife of Orange County.  Did you know that there are actually TEN designers from Project Runway that get to show their collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week? Three people are real finalists and the other seven are used as decoys so the press can't publish any spoilers. They ALL get the $9000 budget to produce their collections. Pretty sweet. This is how Michael got to show his collection at New York Fashion Week the first time around which landed him on the cover of the New York Post. That review is still one of his most prized possessions and hangs proudly on his office wall. When asked about his design style, Costello quipped, "The secret to designing for women of all ages... is sleeves." Preach, brother! For more information on Michael Costello's work, visit