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Michael Costello, ‘Project Runway’ designers among Fashion Week El Paseo presenters

The big white tents are up and models wearing the latest creations by some of the world’s best designers will be strutting the runways starting this weekend when Fashion Week El Paseo kicks off.

The March 16-23 event atop the parking garage at The Gardens on El Paseo will once again include “Project Runway” designers, trunk shows and more – many of the events benefiting local charities.

The week winds down with Palm Desert Food Wine, March 22-24, also under the white tents.

Palm Desert’s two signature events, produced by Palm Springs Life, bring thousands of visitors to the city’s high-end shopping district – and the Coachella Valley.

Ticket sales this year are up over 2018 for both events, event spokeswoman Paulina Larson, with Palm Springs Life, said.

Fashion Week ticket sales are at 20 percent over 2018 while Food Wine ticket sales have doubled over last year, she said.

Each event includes something for everyone, Larson added.

At Fashion Week, she encourages people to take advantage of the trunk shows where they can meet designers and buy their creations.

“Where else can you meet world-renowned designers, feel and touch their clothing, and get styling tips for free in one location?” Larson said.

Many of the nightly fashion shows benefit a local charity. Sunday’s Le Chien, with rescue dogs accompanying models showing off the latest from San Francisco designer Viktor Tung, for example, will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. and silent auction with proce going to Animal Samaritans. The fashion show starts at 6 p.m.

Among the designers is Palm Springs’ own Michael Costello, who returns with other favorites from the “Project Runway” reality TV show, including Seth Aaron, Mondo Guerra, Viktor Luna and Anthony Ryan.

A free QA session with Costello and the “Project Runway” designers is set for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

More: Michael Costello and Project Runway all stars dazzle Fashion Week El Paseo

More: See eccentric fashions Michael Costello and his ‘Project Runway’ pals fluttered down the runway in Palm Desert

The “Michael Costello and His Project Runway Friends” fashion show is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and requires tickets, which were still available Friday at $35 for students; $80 general and $95 reserved seating.

Show fans will have an opportunity to then meet the designers and purchase some of their work at the “Project Runway” trunk show, set for 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Costello gained national attention when a white lace gown he designed for Beyoncé to wear at the 2014 Grammys became one of the most recognizable dresses in the history of the awards show. He has since become one of her top go-to designers. Costello has also designed for Meghan Trainor, Tamar Braxton, Alicia Keys and Maren Morris, to name a few.

This is Costello’s ninth year showing at Fashion Week El Paseo. He was featured in eight episodes of a series by Grateful Ventures, a digital lifestyle site under the USA Today umbrella, as he prepared for the Palm Desert event.

In addition to giving viewers insight as he prepared, while juggling design obstacles, impending deadlines and model negotiations, Costello shared his coming out story and biggest fashion tips in the series which can still be viewed at grateful.co/michaelcostello. He also talks about his inspirations and personal lifestyle in comparison with the elegant clothes he designs.

 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

California Unzipped: Fashion Week kicks off with this event featuring the works of California fashion designers Zandra Rhodes, Emil Gampe and Rober Canamar. This show benefits Junior League of Palm Springs Desert Communities and Make-A-Wish Orange County and Inland Empire.

Hollywood Party – Nobody Sleeps Tonight: This show on Wednesday benefits Palm Springs Historical Society and will feature the archival collection of Academy Award-winning costume designer Helen Rose. Featured costumes include those worn by Judy Garland, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Lena Horne, Cyd Charisse and more.

Finale night: New York-based, American fashion designer Lela Rose presents this year’s finale.

Show starts: Most begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. with fashion shows starting at 8 p.m.

Trunk shows: Many of Fashion Week’s participants will be holding trunk shows, where fans can purchase their designs and meet the designers. Admission to trunk shows is free. Check the website for schedules.

Fashion Week basics: For a full list of participating designers, trunk shows and other events, and tickets – which were still available for all of the shows as of Friday afternoon – visit fashionweekelpaseo.com, stop by the big white tents or call (888) 596-1027.

Food Wine: March 22-24. Tickets and information available at palmdesertfoodandwine.com, the tents or by calling (888) 596-1027.

Celebrity Chef Reception: Tickets are still available to meet and mingle with Scott Conant, Gale Gand, Karen Krasne, Antonia Lofaso, Stuart O’Keeffe, Nick Roberts, Fabio Viviani, Laura Werlin, Brooke Williamson and Zac Young while enjoying culinary tastes from AC3; 6-8 p.m., March 22 at Hotel Paseo, 45-400 Larkspur Lane. 

Where: Fashion Week El Paseo and Palm Desert Food Wine are both held under the big white tents on the top level of The Gardens on El Paseo parking lot, 73-545 El Paseo.

Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas covers the cities of La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. She can be reached at sherry.barkas@thedesertsun.com or (760) 778-4694. Follow her on Twitter @TDSsherry.