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Fashion is filled with 'strange seasons' this year

Date: 4/7/2009

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD -- She's a modern renaissance woman -- a mother, a fiance, a photographer, an entrepreneur, a student and a finalist in People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' Sexiest Vegetarians Next Door contest.

Chrissy Costigan, 28, of Westfield, added another trade to her resume, fashion designer, on March 28, when her clothing line "Strange Season" premiered at the Spring Fling 3 Fashion Show in Providence, R.I.

"I just became really bored with the selection of clothing in retail stores," she told Reminder Publications of why she chose to start her own line. "Nothing seemed to be unique. So I thought why not make something different. I started using the clothes during photo shoots [for my business, Chrissy Costigan Photography] and I kept getting such great responses from the models I thought maybe other people would enjoy my designs too."

She noted that "Strange Season" is an eco-friendly and animal-friendly clothing line. Costigan explained that she uses vintage or recycled materials to create her clothing.

"There is no need to promote cruelty when designing fashion," she said. "Really, who wants to be walking around with a dead creature on their body anyway? I would think that would be embarrassing!"

Costigan explained that with her clothing she is striving to "create her own [fashion] season" for "girls who are not afraid to be themselves and have a desire to find unique clothing."

Her collection includes inspirations from the 1920s flapper period early 1900s inspired wedding dresses and eveningwear for women. Traditional ivory and black lace accent silk and cotton materials to create works which echo the designs of Coco Chanel's breathable, elegant fashions for women on the move.

Costigan said she will gauge the success of her new business through sales and public critique.

"Strange Season" debuted as one of 25 collections from up and coming designers in New England at AS220, a non-profit community arts organization in Providence, R.I.

Show organizer Deb Demarco noted that artists have to make conscious efforts to promote eco-friendly work in conjunction with the green living trends over the past several years.

"It's all about originality and the artists' ability to edit and make their own choices about what to show," she said. "[Artists] make their own decisions about what is fashionable."

She added that the show was for artists like Costigan whose ambition is the promotion of "uncensored [work] all the time."

Items from Costigan's "Strange Season" are available at