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Thomas Costello

MA work

Deciphering Taste

A series of part garments and sleeves exploring the theme of taste, excess and flamboyancy. Referencing notable embodiments of vulgarity such as Divine and John Waters films prompts a focus on fabric and material connotations. Thus visually communicating elements of the concept through subverting ‘tacky’ fabrics and manipulating them to produce a high-end embroidered textile collection for a womenswear context, whilst purposefully questioning what area of taste the textiles fit into.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Textiles, 2017


    mixed media

  • The conceptual undertones to my work offer a light-hearted, often subversive take on social commentary explored through areas of embroidery with a key focus on hand embroidery, fabric manipulation and digital embroidery. 

    The conceptual underpinning to my MA work explores the subject of taste, in particular the idea of vulgarity and how an individual deciphers taste. By subverting typically low-budget ‘vulgar’ fabrics, I am purposefully questioning how the understanding of aesthetic informs the overall category of taste the textiles I produce fit into. This combined with the exploration of pejorative connotations of vulgarity and crudeness that are commonly associated with ‘bad taste’ along with its correlation to queer taste, the ‘camp’ and ideas of flamboyancy and excess forms the premise of my work.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles, London College of Fashion, 2015
  • Experience

  • Freelance Embroidery, Hawthorne & Heaney, London 2015–present; Freelance Hand Embroidery, Alice Richardson at The London Embroidery Studio, 2015; Embroidery intern, Peter Pilotto, London, May–September 2014
  • Exhibitions

  • LCF BA15 Press Exhibition, Nicholls and Clarke Building, Shoreditch, 2015; NO(BODY), Hockney Gallery, London, 2016
  • Awards

  • CassArt Student Spotlight - Draw Fashion, Finalist, 2015