Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra are experts at crafting ultra-flattering dresses that can be wrapped, tied and twisted in multiple ways. And now, they’re expanding their brand with C&T Costello Tagliapietra, a moderately priced range they’ve designed exclusively for Barneys New York. Mind you, this isn’t the design duo’s first foray into less-costly pieces—they worked with Uniqlo on a capsule collection back in 2010.
Yesterday, I joined the designers to check out C&T up-close and chat about their process. "We didn’t want it to be a typical ‘diffusion line,’ something dumbed-down," Tagliapietra explained. "We wanted it to feel just as important as our regular collection, to be thoughtful and beautiful." To that end, the draping and eco-friendly AirDye technique the pair use to create their primary collection are also present in every C&T piece. "Since both sides of the fabric are dyed," said Tagliapietra, re-tying the waist sash of one of the dresses on display, "really beautiful things happen when you start twisting the fabric and playing with it. And I just love the surprise of seeing a girl wearing a dress in a new way."
With prices starting at $298, C&T is sure to reach a broad audience. As for what motivated the designers to create a lower-priced collection, Tagliapietra explained it was really a response to modern customers’ shopping savvy. "People are smart about how they dress now—people want value," he said. "They don’t want to buy something that feels watered-down, or like a copy of something else."
Ironically, Costello Tagliapietra’s figure-flattering draped cuts have been widely knocked off by many other retailers—a testament to their great fit. But with C&T now in stock, the brand’s fans can finally get in on the real deal. Check out some of our favorites from the line in the slideshow.
photo via @elanafishman
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