'My creative process is one of self-exploration and a means of telling my story through visual language. Each piece represents a personal and heartfelt account of my journey from darkness to light, the multiple layers working to evoke feeling, thought and memory. I find using sgraffito to reveal what lies beneath – hidden parts of the human experience and deep-seated emotions – therapeutic, cathartic and authentic to my lived experience.”
Born in Perth, Western Australia, to parents who emigrated from Calabria, Italy, Aurelio Costarella is a designer and artist whose work has featured on runways around the world and been worn by celebrities including Rihanna, Cate Blanchett, Queen Mary of Denmark, Charlize Theron, Dita Von Teese, Tina Arena and Tyra Banks.
Renowned globally for his exquisite gowns and Demi Couture, Aurelio studied Architecture before going on to pursue a career in fashion. A self-taught designer and seamstress, he rejected trend-driven seasonality in favour of thoughtful, timeless garments that transcend the unrelenting cycles of fashion.
Throughout his career, Aurelio has presented solo collections at New York Fashion Week and Australian Fashion Week, whilst his travelling trunk shows have been adored by media, celebrities and influential buyers in showrooms across Paris, London and Los Angeles.
His work is housed in gallery collections nationwide, including the Western Australian Museum Boola Bardip, Sydney’s Powerhouse Ultimo Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria.
In 2013, the Western Australian Museum honoured Aurelio’s significant contribution to Australian fashion with a dedicated exhibition: Aurelio Costarella: A 30-Year Retrospective.
In July 2015, Aurelio spoke openly for the first time about his lifelong struggle with his mental health. Upon being appointed an ambassador for Lifeline, he began advocating and campaigning for change within the healthcare system. He continues to speak of his lived experience to help destigmatise mental health issues.
In 2016, Aurelio was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia, Hall of Fame.
More recently, Aurelio has shifted focus to painting – acrylic, pastel, graphite and collage on canvas – and digitally manipulating his works for reproduction on surface design and textiles such as murals and silk.
2024 will see the launch of AURELIO Fine Art Wall prints and a new collection of custom printed Wall Murals. Exhibitions and further collaborations are planned across 2024.
Recent collaborations include ; A limited edition collection of silk scarves for The Art Gallery of Western Australia. An Exclusive collaboration of Wall Art and scarves with ARRIVAL HALL and a range of wall coverings with Scandinavian Wallpaper & Décor.
IMAGE / Chantal Concei