Almost the entire second floor of the Los Angeles Apparel Mart Building in the heart of the Fashion District is taken over by Michael Costello.
A far cry from his Palm Canyon Drive boutique in Palm Springs some 15 years ago – but then again, a lot has happened to the designer since then.
Most notably, he became a household name among “Project Runway” fans and then began to dress celebrities: Beyonce, Lady Gaga and J.Lo.
He is now the go-to designer for A-list musicians who want to make a statement on the red carpet and magazine covers and has started to delve into film by creating 32 outfits that became part of “American Horror Story” season 5, which won a Costume Designers Guild Award in February.
“It’s amazing that we got to this point, because I can easily say when I was living in Palm Springs and I was 15,16,17 years-old, this was all I ever really dreamed of,” said Costello, 33, while sitting in his showroom in Los Angeles on a recent afternoon.
The in-demand designer, known for his sexy sillouettes and delectable draping, has about 1,000 things on his plate. But the one thing he makes room for each year and looks forward to – is his return to the desert for Fashion Week El Paseo.
For the sixth year, Costello has been a part of the local event held in Palm Desert. Together with fashion week producer Susan Stein they assemble the “Star of Project Runway” show which features Costello and other show alum.
This year, the April 5 runway will feature Costello and 10 other designers that include: Peach Carr, Casanova, twins Jesus and Antonio Estrada, Mychael Knight, Justin LeBlanc, Valerie Mayen, Anthony Ryan Auld, Charles Straub and Kini Zamora. There’s also a meet & greet and trunk show that allows fans to get up close and personal with the designers.
“It’s a job each season to produce the show. We start six months in advance … to get everything from the collection concepts, from the designer confirmations, to the model fittings, to the music, the hair, the sponsorship, it’s a full job,” he said.
“But I look forward to it because at the end of the day anything I can do for back home and to bring some fun and amazing excitement to El Paseo and Palm Springs, I’m all for it. I love it,” Costello said.
Stein has known Costello for about 10-years — since before he appeared on "Project Runway" and became a reality fashion star.
"He stayed in touch with me during his Project Runway experience and promised to come back after his show was aired," she said. "As soon as he was able, he returned to the desert and asked to share the friendships and talent of a few of his fellow designers on our runway."