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‘Project Runway’ Star Michael Costello Promises Surprises In New Collection

The designer will debut his new line at Fashion Week at El Paseo.

In the run up to Fashion Week at El Paseo, local designer Michael Costello is busy with last-minute additions to his collection.

“I’ve been working day and night, literally 18 to 19 hours a day, on the most amazing collection that I think I have ever done,” he said.

Costello, a “Project Runway” Season Eight finalist, joins his fellow contestants Mondo Guerra and Christopher Collins under the Big White Tent on Wednesday, March 23. Each of the designers will debut new collections specially created for this event.

Of his own work, Costello was particularly excited.

“I think this collection will be unexpected. I’m mostly thought of as this ‘gowns guy’ and I love doing gowns, but there will be some surprises in this collection.”

Without giving away any secrets, the designer hinted at a possible theme.

“I’ve always wanted to do an all-black collection,” he said.

In addition to the couture, Costello is trying his hand at accessories, adding hats, jewelry and shoes to complete the collection.

“There will be little surprises here and there,’’ the designer said. “I push myself to learn new techniques.”

Look for Costello’s muse on the runway, the exotic model Suwana Perry, who will also close the show at his side. And between collections, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke will perform.

Attendees can then join the Project Runway designers and the bevy of beautiful fashion models at the after-party. The Absolute Black Swan Party will be hosted by the Riviera Palm Springs.

“It’s inspired by the film and it’s going to be an amazing event, with American Idol’s Andrew Garcia performing,’’ Costello said. “Most importantly, the party benefits the Desert Cancer Foundation.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the "Project Runway" show begins at 8 p.m.

For tickets and information: www.fashionweekelpaseo.com/tickets.html or call (800) 775-7256. Prices are $65 for reserved seating, $50 for general admission and $25 for student general admission.

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