The West

Aurelio Costarella with Perth models. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

He has showcased his ethereal designs from Paris to Shanghai and now acclaimed designer Aurelio Costarella is bringing a taste of WA talent to the inaugural Royal Botanic Runway in Melbourne today with the help of 12 homegrown models.

The fashion veteran, whose 30 Year Retrospective exhibition at the WA Museum closes this weekend, will present a nature-inspired collection of embellished gowns alongside iconic designers Collette Dinnigan, Martin Grant and Akira Isogawa at the charity event, which raises money for the Water Strategy Project and is expected to draw a crowd of 1500 spectators to Melbourne's Botanic Gardens.

And showing Costarella is committed to shining the light on his home State, he flew over his own group of local Chadwick models to walk in the catwalk parade, including burgeoning beauties Ebony Hunter, Hannah Collard and Grady Wulff.

They were also joined by Perth-raised success stories Emily Cattermole and Holly Caiulo, who are now based in Melbourne.

Before flying out for tonight's event, Costarella told Access All Areas the showcase was a wonderful coup for both him and the models.

"It's raising awareness of WA models in Victoria, and it's a great experience for them because they don't often get the opportunity to be flown across to Melbourne to do a show," he said.

In keeping with his celebration of 30 years in the fashion industry, Costarella has added vintage pieces to his collection along with a number of custom-made gowns that will be accented by one-off feathered headpieces by Perth milliner Reny Kestel.

But rather than choosing colourful garments to fit in with the botanical theme, the designer said he had instead used a mix of textures throughout his ivory and black creations to illustrate the concept.

"All of the pieces we are showing are either beaded or have vintage lace in them or are embroidered," Costarella said. "They are all very embellished pieces so it didn't really call for any kind of colour."

Costarella has also offered up a West Australian fashion experience to be auctioned for charity online, where the highest bidder will be treated to a red carpet gown and lunch from the designer, a stay in the Grand Hyatt and a $1000 voucher for Kailis Pearls.

The West Australian

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