When Meg Costello was asked to design a dress for our Elizabeth Taylor tribute shoot, she sought to create a dress that was daring and confident, much like her designer muse, the late Alexander McQueen.

Drawing on Taylor’s quote “I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them”, Costello’s modern take on the late Dame’s sophisticated style was vibrant, unencumbered and elegant.

After releasing her Spring/Summer 2010 collection at her TAFE graduation parade last year, the Adelaide designer started her own label, Megan Leigh.

Costello describes the dressy daywear label as “young, contemporary, diverse and comfortable”, offering unique, one-off handmade pieces for fashion-forward women.

The 21-year-old says she seeks inspiration by keeping up to date with the latest fashion trends, as well as high-end fashion parades featured on websites such as Vogue.

McQueen aside, Costello says she also looks up to many Australian designers.

“I adore and support Australian designers such as Alex Perry, Bianca Spender and Karla Spetic for their fresh take on our modern day fashion,” she says.

Picture: The Urban Silhouette/ Scarborough Digital MediaWith an Advanced Diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Technology, Costello says her formal fashion training has helped to boost her career as an independent designer.

“I knew the basics of sewing prior, but TAFE SA teaches you what looks good on a certain body type, what colours look fab together and other things that aren’t obvious to the average onlooker of fashion,” she explains.

But Costello says the biggest challenge as an up and coming young designer is competing with more recognised labels.

“The most difficult aspect of starting my own label so far would be getting my name out there,” Costello says.

“I’m hoping that once my label is better known, my target audience will be more inclined to purchase my clothing.

“I would love to get it to the point where all day long I can design, sew and sell my clothing, making enough money so I don’t have to work two jobs to keep my label up and running.”

Costello’s fascination with clothing and design was not something she discovered from day one; rather, it was a passion she discovered towards the end of her schooling while studying Clothing and Textiles in years 11 and 12.

“I had always loved doing art subjects, and once I completed Year 12 I became fascinated with clothing and the construction that went into making a garment,” she says.

She cites creative freedom as the best aspect of design.

“It’s the ability to create something from scratch so captivating that a person could only have imagined,” she explains.

Currently working at George Gross and Harry Who, Costello plans to continue designing long into her future, and hopes to grow and expand her label Megan Leigh.

“In five years time I hope to have gained more knowledge within myself and the fashion industry, contributing to owning a successful label in the future,” she says.  

Ed’s note: Costello’s label, Megan Leigh, is currently stocked at Artisan Boutique, located at 94 Glen Osmond Rd, Parkside in Adelaide. Click here to see more photos from our Elizabeth Taylor shoot.