Costello Tagliapietra: Meet The Designers

Uploaded by vice on Aug 9, 2012


ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: Hi, I'm Robert Tagliapietra.
JEFFREY COSTELLO: And I'm Jeffrey Costello.
ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: And we're Costello Tagliapietra, and
you're watching Vice.
It's funny when we met.
We actually met at a nightclub, and the joke was
sort of, like, both of our friends said we both looked
alike, even back then.
We were both dressed alike at the same time.
Also, we had the luck of sharing a closet, too.
So I think it's a lot of things mixed together.
JEFFREY COSTELLO: What you see is what it always was.
ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: It was on our 17th-year anniversary that
we got married.
JEFFREY COSTELLO: It was simple.
Basically, I had made some cardigan jackets, and it was
such a quiet affair.
It's like we just had Rob's mother and sisters come.
I don't know, we just wore khakis and sweaters.
ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: There was just something nice about
actually having that--
JEFFREY COSTELLO: Almost validation.
ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: --that wedding ring
and having that day.
JEFFREY COSTELLO: I grew up in suburban Pennsylvania.
My parents are in the grocery store/roadside stand, so I
guess I was a little intrigued by the farmers
we had to deal with.
To me that was so otherworldly, to see real men
working farms, dressing.
I don't know, it just always looked so cool,
the cool work clothes.
ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: When I was in high school, I was
obsessive over collecting The Smiths' singles, so I have all
the 12 inches.
We love the soundtrack quality of certain music to help
define the collection.
About four years ago, Jeffrey and my mother were talking,
and just through some casual conversation, they found out
that both of our grandmothers had worked for Norman Norell.
MALE VOICE (OFFSCREEN): Quick, please, a gown.
FEMALE VOICE (OFFSCREEN): Oh, I'll be the talk of the town.
ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: Norman being a huge
influence on us as well.
But we both grew up in households that sewed, so I
think the craft of fashion, it was embedded in
us at an early age.
I think that's why throughout the building of our career,
we've had such a concentration on the craft, and it's been so
important to our brand in general.
When we start designing it, it's really about process.
The way we approach a dress is it starts almost
The way we build collections out, the way we create any
kind of garment, it's just as based on the process as it is
everything else.
I guess we approach fashion in the way you would almost
approach painting.
For us, it kind of starts at the pattern-making table.
We love playing with patterns and ideas that way, and then I
think it slowly develops that way.
And then on the other side, you have color.
And I think for us, it could be just a painting or a movie
that inspires a color story.
So you kind of work out your color story, and then through
that, through all those processes, you start seeing a
story develop.
I like it when it's not so clear.
I love that dreamy quality that can happen with stuff,
with things you create.
And for us, it's about that.
We like to create something that's otherworldly, that's
not clearly definable by trend or era.
I feel like with a dress, it's an object that's so
modern, in a way.
It's like this one-piece dressing.
It's almost like how we imagine the future to be, just
sort of one-piece dressing.
But it's also this blank canvas that you can create
these beautiful things on.
We're big boys, so I know the difficulties of finding
clothes sometimes.
And I think not every dress is meant for every type, but to
have a selection of dresses that have the ability to work
on different body types is really important, I think.
You have to address those issues sometimes.
You realize who the customer really is.
It's not this 17-year-old model that we
shove down the runway.
It's not what I think a lot of designers think their ideal
customer is.
For us, it's like our job is to make something that looks
beautiful on the female form.
And for us, it's got to be effortless, too.
I like that aspect to it.
JEFFREY COSTELLO: And at the end of the day, doesn't every
woman really want to feel beautiful, and not necessarily
feminine, but at least beautiful and put together?
ROBERT TAGLIAPIETRA: Yeah, we used to be big flea market
people, and then we realized that our apartment was
becoming like a hoarder's nest.
I think that show Hoarders was what really was
eye-opening for us.
We're like, OK, it's looking a little similar.
I think we like a level of hoarder.
It's kind of like an urban
grandmother's lumberjack lodge.