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Fabio Costa Distinguished Lecture on Design and Innovation




Fabio Costa is one of the up-and-coming designers featured in Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art. Some may recognize his name from season 10 of Project Runway. Known for his work with fabric and draping, Costa has developed a reputation as a “conceptual designer.”

Fabio Costa photographed by Mete Ozeren

Fabio Costa photographed by Mete Ozeren

Originally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil and now living in Brooklyn, New York, Costa loved fashion from an early age. He was raised by his grandmother who was a seamstress and ignited his passion for construction. He completed his Bachelor of Fashion Design at Universidade FUMEC in Brazil before moving to New York to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. He competed on Project Runway, showing at Fashion Week and winning second place in the overall competition.

Costa not only stands out because of his avant-garde designs, but for his personal style as well. His distinct aesthetic of wearing dresses and skirts lead him to create his own clothing line NotEqual with friend Rebecca Diele. The line is gender neutral and filled with interesting textures and fabrics and crisp silhouettes. 

Hand-quilted white ensemble on mannequin inspired by folk art quilt.

Agnus Dame (detail) Fabio Costa (b. 1983), Hand-quilted nylon, raw silk mesh, cotton fiber, Japanese raw silk yarn, and Japanese bamboo yarn, with stuffwork. Photography by Mete Ozeren

For Folk Couture, Costa chose a whitework quilt with a Tree of Life pattern and a woodcarving of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Roman Catholicism. His ensemble is obviously inspired by the color of the quilt, but on closer inspection sheer layers are combined with an intricately- woven design. The ensemble is complete with an incredible flat-topped hat created from raw silk yarn. Next to the pieces, the influence is clear, but with an unmistakably modern vibe. 

Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art will be on display at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens through December 31, 2016. Costa will be featured as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series on November 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. He will be speaking about the challenge of merging folk art and high fashion, and his innovative exploration of fabric and art in his own line.


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