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MBFW Day One: Aurelio Costarella

Something unusual happened at Aurelio Costarella’s runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia earlier today – there was a colour explosion and it wasn’t unwelcome.

“I’m just having an anti black moment. It’s crazy I’ve never used this much colour in a collection before,” Costarella said backstage after the show.

The Perth designer, who usually wears head to toe black, was also dressed in a colourful Raf Simons shirt, and wearing white denim.

The work of American photographer and modernist artist Man Ray and the eclectic style of his muses provided the inspiration for Costarella’s spring/summer 14/15 collection ‘Solaire’, a contemporary interpretation of 1920/30s Parisienne silhouettes in bright pinks and orange, including ‘porange’ feather dresses, and emerald green.

Even the hair, directed by Lee Preston for GOLDWELL with colours created by Liam Baxter, was vibrant.

“Man Ray has always been one of my favourite photographers, and especially his [photographic technique of] solarisation,” Costarella said. “I started to read a lot about him and his contemporary ex-pats that were living in Montparnasse in the 1920s and 30s – Kiki de Montparnasse, Lee Miller, Nancy Cunard and Juliete who became his wife, and I just went into this fantasy world of what they would have been like and what it would have been like living in the 1920s and 30s.”

Costarella said the work of textile designer Sonia Delaunay known for her colourful geometric prints was also an influence.

“I wanted it to be a bit of a potpourri of different colours and styles but for me it was part of a journey and textures and that’s where it came from,” Costarella said.

Director of Artistry for M.A.C Cosmetics James Molloy created two make-up looks for the show including a theatrical themed ‘face’ using Swarovski Elements to create a “shimmer effect” on the runway. The idea to use the crystals to create a rounded eyebrow and small sweetheart face was inspired by a 1930s illustration of beauty “like a line work”.

The main look for the show, however, was a pewter glossy eye using M.A.C Pro glosses to create a rounded eye with lots of lashes top and bottom. “Little Betty Davis eyes,” said Molloy. “And then on the lips we are using M.A.C Lipmix in Burgundy and Crimson just giving them like a red wine stain so it has that slight bordello feel. The whole inspiration is 1930s Parisienne melancholic beauty.”

Molloy described the look, particularly the creamy lilac mushroom tone around the eye, as on trend. “We’re stepping away from anything that is too warm. There are a lot of off-shades as key shades this season,” he said.

The same could be said for the gloss he used on the eyelids. “Gloss is a key texture again for this season but not to look futuristic in any way,” he said. “We’re stepping away from gloss looking sci-fi and instead using gloss to give a mesmeric feeling to a make-up.”