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Michael Costello & House of Borel F/W 2015 - Backstage Coverage, Interviews, & More

Michael Costello held his second runway presentation at MBFW with the debut of his F/W 2015 collection. Inspired by clean lines and minimalist Japanese culture, the glitz and shimmers of Parisian lights and London layers, Michael Costello created a contemporary collection that appeals to women on and off the red carpet. While remaining true to his aesthetic, Costello incorporated hues of midnight blue, black, slate grays and metallics.

Our team was invited to both attend the runway show as guests and cover backstage. Take a look at some photos we took below.

Mike Costello's designs were complemented by handbags from House of Borel and footwear from Stella Hues.

Founded by Claire Borel, House of Borel is a San Francisco-based luxury handbag startup. Focusing on unique, high quality pieces, the line creates a fully-rounded wardrobe perfect for travel. The accessories’ signature is turquoise, which appears in the lining of several handbags. Take a look at its handbags below. House of Borel apparel will launch Fall 2015.

We also had the privilege to interview the team at House of Borel: Claire Borel (Founder and CEO), Charlotte Welch (Executive Fashion Director), and Natalie Marie Crane (Creative Director).

When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Charlotte: I have known that I wanted to be in fashion since I was very young but in terms of design, I didn’t really get into those ideas until college. I always used to think about editing things I owned and would draw clothing but I didn’t start wanting to actually make things until after college. What always appealed to me, from the time I was a child, was that the industry had this balance of beauty and utility: art and function. The design part didn’t really appeal to me until I started styling clients and could see what designers were missing.
How would you describe your brand?
Claire: Understatedly elegant. We created this brand as a resource for the female jetsetter, executing what we believe is true luxury based exclusively in travel. We blend elements of classic designs with modern theory, using only the finest materials and the best construction by the most skilled artisans in Milan.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
Claire: It has been very important to me to make sure that I created an environment where team members are given the space to create their own dreams along with mine. We have really become like a family at House of Borel.
What advice would you give to young designers?
Charlotte: My advice is to stay passionate! This is a very demanding career that requires a lot of attention to detail. If you really want to be a designer, you have to be determined and really enjoy what you are doing.
What is your favorite bag from your collection and why?
Charlotte: Oh boy, it is tough to choose. I believe they are all beautiful, BUT…I do have a favorite. The Cairo - Cleo our yellow crocodile bag is my current choice. The color on the exterior mixed with the pop of brightness on the inside just lights me up inside. The bag was inspired by a piece I found at this fantastic vintage store in the Marais in Paris. Our team began redesigning it to make it more modern and it quickly became the apple of my eye.
If you were to design a bag specifically for one person, who would it be and why?
Charlotte: I would design a bag for Gwen Stefani because I think she is such an icon. From her musical talent to her style and strong feminine energy, I would be thrilled at the opportunity to make her a bag.
How are your bags made? What are the materials you use that are unique?
Charlotte: Our bags are hand made in Milan, Italy by factories that were established decades ago. We found craftsmen for each piece of our bags that truly love their work. One of my favorite people to work with is our hardware manufacturer, Lorenzo. He works with precious metals such as palladium (which is apart of the Platinum family of metals) and he is basically like a hybrid engineer/artist. His work is so special and you can feel it, from the way its applied to how light each piece is. The skins we use are also very unique because we work with a small tannery that hand paints and dyes the skins. Roberto the owner of the factory has been very precise in helping us achieve all of the colors we wanted. I think overall what makes our product unique is how much is being invested by each person involved in our design process. Our team has flown out to Italy 5 times in 1 year, our factories have developed custom hardware and colors for our bags. This entire process has been unique and customized for our customer.
What are your inspirations in creating your designs?
Claire: My father and mother spark inspiration for me everyday, they have been since I was a child. I have vivid memories of playing in their closets as a child and being mesmerized. We also draw inspiration from the places we have traveled too, as individuals and as a group. Some of the places that inspire me are the lavender fields in the South of France, sunsets by the Hotel du Cap, sunrises in South Africa, walking on the beach in Mexico, my mother’s gardens, San Francisco and what seems like endless rows of vineyards surrounding my family’s winery Round Pond.
Who did you have in mind as the ideal recipient of your designs?
Charlotte: An ideal recipient would be Angela Ahrendts, she is sophisticated, fashionable, and smart. I would love to have her carry our bags because she has one of the best wardrobes I have ever seen and she always exudes strength and style when I see her in the media.
Your collaboration with Michael Costello was absolutely on point! How did you two decide to work together for the 2015 Autumn/Winter Collection?
Charlotte: I have styled Michael’s collection at NYFW every season he has shown. Michael was one of the first people to see some of the concepts we were working on back in the development stages late last spring. Natalie Crane the Creative director and I were down in LA for a meeting and when we met up with him he got so much inspiration from our materials we decided to put the bags down the runway.
You just finished your showcase at NYFW. Can you give us a sneak peek into what you have in store for the next season?
Natalie: The female jetsetter really inspired us in our design process for the next collection. You will have the same level of craft and detail as in our handbags but more focused toward a collection of clothing that travels well with a more muted color palette.

We also caught up with luxury footwear designer Stella Maze, the face behind Stella Hues. Inspired by her roots in the British Virgin Islands, all her shoes have blue soles, with each different shade of blue representing a different meaning. For instance, she explained how the navy blue symbolizes power and light blue symbolizes calmness.

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