Fashion

A Journey of Design with Aurelio Costarella and David Mallet

Tuesday, 14th April 2015by culture HQ
Collaboration [noun]: Working with others to achieve shared goals. An endeavor, creative in nature, that’s defined by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.

THE UNION OF LIKE-MINDED CREATIVES CAN PUSH BOUNDARIES AND EXPLORE THE UNKNOWN, YET ALSO BE THE CATALYST FOR A JOURNEY THAT FEELS SOMEWHAT NATURAL, INSTINCTIVE… ALMOST COMFORTABLE. PROLIFIC AUSTRALIAN FASHION DESIGNER AURELIO COSTARELLA TRAVELLED THIS EXACT ROAD DURING PARIS FASHION WEEK LAST YEAR AFTER SHOWCASING HIS EXQUISITE WINTER 2015 COLLECTION FOR THE FIRST TIME, COLLABORATING WITH RENOWNED PARIS-BASED HAIRDRESSER AND CLOSE FRIEND DAVID MALLET. THE PAIR HAVE A HISTORY THAT SPANS 30 YEARS AND SHARE MUCH IN COMMON – BOTH FORGING CAREERS IN THE LUXURY MARKET AND WORKING TIRELESSLY TO ESTABLISH THEIR UNIQUE BRANDS THAT TODAY EACH ENJOY WORLD CLASS ATTENTION. THE RESULT OF THIS INSPIRED REUNION IS EVIDENT WITHIN THESE IMAGES AND THEIR STORY… BEAUTIFUL, ETHEREAL AND THE MASTERY OF KINDRED SPIRITS. BY JENNY BURNS.


The fatalistic meeting of these two creatives goes back to the vibrant ‘80s club scene in their mutual hometown of Perth. Aurelio and David were just 20 years old. “We had become friends around the same time that I began my design career and David started work as an apprentice hairdresser with Sue and Ray Morgan at Be Ba Beau,” Aurelio recalls. “David would commission me to make several pieces for his then girlfriend and my good friend Perette. We also worked on several shoots together in the early days of our career. My fashion, David’s hair… it was all a bit mad and very experimental, but fun and exciting times.”

Seven years later, David arrived in Paris at the age of 27 with a determination to succeed. Starting in editorial work and quickly moving into directing shows, within a short time his talent was being championed by industry heavyweights Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Emmenuelle Alt, fashion editor of French Vogue. With every year spent in the chic capital, the demand for David’s skills grew exponentially. His work became in demand for the public and private lives of some of the world’s most infamous names… photographers David LaChapelle, Ellen Von Unwerth, Paolo Roversi, Peter Lindberg and Patrick Demarchelier and beauties such as Kate Winslet, Diane Kruger, Clémence Poésy, Julianne Moore, Kristin Scott Thomas, Marion Cotillard and Penélope Cruz. David’s creative vision and technical innovation have contributed to some of the most iconic images in fashion advertising in the past two decades. Karl Lagerfeld chose the talented hairdresser to style Christy Turlington for Chanel; he has also worked on flagship campaigns for Lancel, Dior, L’Oréal, Sonia Rykiel, Givenchy, Pirelli and La Perla.

Away from his work on photoshoots, fashion campaigns and movies, David has developed – with his personal clients – a unique philosophy on hairstyling; one which combines absolute glamour with a distinct point of view on practicality. “I believe that hair should look amazing in the real world, not just for the time when one is in the salon. It’s not helpful to create an amazing look which only lasts for a moment, or which only exists in photos. I believe that hair should look good long after the client has left the salon. I obsess about technique so my clients don’t have to. My philosophy is about being practical, about showing clients how to have beautiful hair even when I won’t be there with them.”

 

But David wasn’t the only West Australian boy making a name for himself across the globe. Fast track through the millennium and today Aurelio Costarella is one of Australia’s most acclaimed designers, boasting a loyal international following. A quietly spoken gentleman with a love of delicate flowers and 20th century buildings, his integrity and passion for quality has seen him shine for three decades.

The union of delicate fabrics and intricate details with sharp tailoring and detailed cutting are undoubtedly the trademarks of this talented designer. Having studied architecture in the 1980s, Costarella is driven by design, yet also counts spirituality as playing an important part in his creative process with nature, light and art among the recurring themes within the organic evolution of his work. He is dedicated to quality craftsmanship; the pieces he creates are contemporary classics designed for the strong, feminine woman and have been worn by a vast array of high profile femmes who embody the Aurelio Costarella signature… Rihanna, Dita Von Teese, Tyra Banks, Dannii Minogue, Jennifer Hawkins, Melissa George, Emma Booth and Naya Rivera to name a few.

Aurelio’s life work was recently celebrated with a retrospective exhibition at the Western Australian Museum. Apart from showcasing his incredible design talent and creativity, it also highlighted this remarkable style icon’s commitment to the local fashion industry. In building his brand without leaving Perth, Aurelio has partnered with many Western Australian models, photographers, hair and make-up artists and other local fashion personalities, elevating the entire local industry onto the international stage.

In addition to mutual hometown roots and their long-term friendship, David and Aurelio share a common admiration for beauty in all of its guises. So when the two reconnected last year to tell their collaborative story through images, it was only natural that the location chosen was David’s exquisite Parisienne salon. Both ultra-luxurious and incredibly relaxed, the vast 17th century private apartment offers David’s clientele the perfect environment for exceptional consultation, styling and attention.

“As it was my first time at Paris Fashion Week, I had a call from David one morning to say that I was most welcome to use his salon for a show, presentation, shoot… anything I wanted,” Aurelio tells. “He was so incredibly kind and generous, and that call set the wheels in motion.”

With the aid of Aurelio Costarella brand manager Paul O’Connor, the creative team for the project was summoned from around the world. Stylist Emily Ward and photographer Justin Ridler arrived from Melbourne – Justin had recently shot the designer’s collection for the Royal Botanical Runway and The Australian Ballet. Finnish model Henna Lintukangas, who had walked for the brand at last year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia show in April, was sought out and booked for her stunning looks and matching attitude. The rest of the team was made up of Claire Mulleady, a senior make-up artist for M.A.C in London, David from Paris and his assistant Rishi, and of course, Aurelio from Perth. Connections from the past were reunited in a new environment… and a simple brief. Something beautiful.

When it came to the hair for this story, David’s aim was to produce something that embodied “dishevelled chic. Not too tight, not too pretentious. I wanted the hair to be breezy and beautiful. Ethereal,” he explains.

“I believe the key ingredient for a successful collaboration is the mutual respect of each others’ talents,” Aurelio continues. “I brought my creativity and David provided his. No ego. No fuss. No competition."

 

When it came to the hair for this story, David’s aim was to produce something that embodied “dishevelled chic. Not too tight, not too pretentious. I wanted the hair to be breezy and beautiful. Ethereal,” he explains.

“I really just let David and Rishi do what ever they felt was right at that very moment – what played back with the clothes and Henna’s platinum hair,” Aurelio adds. “We didn’t labour over a look, it just happened. Emily calls David ‘The Hair Whisperer’; she couldn’t believe that he would just touch Henna’s hair ever so briefly and it would be ‘de-done’. The effect was whimsical, yet perfectly controlled.

“David’s atelier is such a beautiful light filled Parisienne space, full of antiquities and curiosities… it was the perfect location to photograph my collection in. As happens, the shoot evolved and changed organically, but it was just beautiful – the space, the light, the energy. All perfect.”

“Working with Aurelio again after so many years was a delight,” enthuses David. “It was wonderful to see how his style has progressed and grown over the years… and it was lovely to reconnect with the past and create something together in the present.”

So what’s next in line for these two old friends remains up in the air, but their Paris Fashion Week collaboration seems to have sparked a creative light for the duo that could certainly burn bright for years to come.

“We have talked of working together again this year, but we have no real plans as yet,” Aurelio ponders. “But I do know that our journey isn’t over just yet.

“It was wonderful to reconnect with David after all these years. We have both come a long way since we first worked together in 1984. I am proud of his achievements and admire his amazing talents. He is generous in sharing his success and always acknowledges that Australia is where he learnt his craft and gave him the confidence to conquer the world. Such an inspiration.”

 

Photography Justin Ridler @ www.justinridler.net  // Fashion Designer Aurelio Costarella // Hair David Mallett @ David Mallett Salon // Make-up Claire Mulleady @ www.clairemulleady.carbonmade.com // Stylist Emily Ward @ www.hartandco.com.au // Model Henna Lintukangas @ www.models.com // Creative Producer Paul O’Connor // Location David Mallett Salon, 14 rue Notre Dame des Victoires, 75002, Paris. All garments throughout by Aurelio Costarella.



Tuesday, 14th April 2015by culture HQ