‘Inspired By’ Design Wars // Michael Costello Camp Buys Dress From Emerging Designer & Posts On Instagram as Own Design! EXCLUSIVE Details & Photos!

0 Posted by - October 13, 2014 - Celebrity, Fashion, Features, Mia's Portfolio, News

We had the pleasure of the being introduced to emerging designer Maxie James (@flyeffortlessy87) earlier this year and later her gorgeous, trendsetting and very classy line of custom dresses during the House of Yere Fashion Show last month, September, in Los Angeles.

Maxie’s line is called Ellae’ Lisque’ (@ellaelisque) and the moment we laid eyes on her pieces we fell in love! Naturally, we began to follow her brand on Instagram and kept up with all the new designs she released consistently following her debut at the @HouseofYere Fashion Show!

One dress that stood out was one she released about three weeks ago that a friend of ours, Bria Myles (@realbriamyles), Instagrammed as having wore for one of her gigs. It’s a risque yet classy burgundy sleeveless piece that is tight fitting, cut out in the front, from the belly button up, and wraps around the neck from one side. It is gawgeous!











Fast forward to last week Friday, we were tagged in a post on Ellae Lisque’s Instagram account showing a split image of a receipt from a purchase of this dress, named “Royale” by Ellae Lisque, by the ever oh so talented Michael Costello! Wow! We thought how amazing the story we were about to read on this post was going to be!

But then on the other side of this split image were two different models wearing this dress. The model on top is shown via Micheal Costello’s co-designer, Stephanie Costello’s Instagram, (@mtcostello) where it says, Love the mini “Diana” on #model @Eseniya_rossete (how to order) email: stephanie@mtcostello.com (which is now deleted off of the @mtcostello profile but we grabbed a screenshot before it was gone!)


This leads us to read on and what we read next was a shocker! Michael Costello, or Stephanie from his camp, allegedly ordered the “Royale” dress from Ellae Lisque that was later claimed to be a Costello design as implied in the Instagram post seen above. We know for a fact that the dress was purchased via Paypal via the Michael Costello Camp (see image of Paypal receipt below).


Now, there are still details up in the air as apparently Ellae Lisque was accused by Michael Costello’a camp of stealing the one sided turtleneck open/low cut look. Apparently Michael Costello released a version of this dress before Ellae Lisque, as seen below.

However, the facts still remain that even tho Costello accuses Ellae Lisque of stealing his “original” design, Costello in fact purchased the dress in question from Ellae Lisque and posted on Instagram to receive orders.

While we’re not totally sure what is going on between the two designers (we’re looking it to it though!), from what we do know, Ellae Lisque designed a dress that is inspired by a previous Costello design, as Maxie James clarifies on her personal Instagram account @flyeffortlessly87 (image below shows Costello’s design of which Ellae Lisque’s “Royale” is inspired by & Maxie’s explanation).pinkgrasshopper-ellae-lisque-michael-costello










Even if it is considered a stolen/knockoff design, Costello actually purchased that dress and led his audience to believe that the dress he bought was his actual design and was for purchase from his brand.

We totally understand that this happens all the time where big brands and designers are imitated and duplicated BUT in this specific case, why for example, couldn’t the Costello brand reach out to collaborate with this emerging designer? We do see how Ellae Lisque was inspired by Michael Costello originally but why did the Costello camp purchase the dress only to post on Instagram to promote as Costello merchandise?

Stephanie Costello admits to doing so out of “frustration” & intent to “expose” …

As on-lookers began to take note, the story takes off and it gets pretty serious as many people began to come down on the Costello camp. Stephanie Costello, who runs Instagram account @mtcostello, claimed the receipt was photoshopped, in an attempt to defend the situation (as seen in the screenshot below).


Fast forward to Saturday (2 days ago), Stephanie Costello releases a statement (seen below) where she admits to purchasing the dress and apologizes for posting on her Instagram out of spite but denies intending to sell.



So the facts are:

1. There’s a dress design war between Ellae Lisque & Michael Costello as the former is accused of stealing a design from the latter.

2. Ellae Lisque is an emerging designer who created a dress inspired by Michael Costello, an established brand.

3. Costello’s camp purchases the dress in question from Ellae Lisque & posts image of this dress on Instagram account @mtcostello of which is adorned by a Costello model and in the Costello showroom.

4. The receipt showing Costello purchased the dress in question is not photoshopped, as Stephanie admits to purchasing the dress in question.

5. The dress purchased by Costello from Ellae Lisque was intended for sell, prior to the image being deleted off the @mtcostello account, as seen in screenshot above.

6. Stephanie Costello posts an apology to the @mtcostello Instagram account admitting to purchasing the dress, posting on her account and then deleting the image shortly after but denies intent to sell.


Grasshoppers, given the facts, what do you think about this? Do you think the purchase of this Ellae Lisque dress by Costello and then posting to the Costello Instagram account was an act of “emotion driven” “sarcasm” in an attempt to expose Ellae Lisque? Or do you think the Costello camp was up to something else?

Why do you think the Costello camp felt moved by this emerging designer, when as a huge international brand who has celebrities like Beyonce’ wearing the brand, should have not much to worry about from a smaller brand?



  • Alicia October 14, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    The ’emerging designer’ also posted a follow up to the original accusations: “I NEVER claimed to be the original person that thought of the concept of this design.” That post was not included in this article, but is crucial to the completion and validity of the listed facts. Omission of information does not allow for an appropriate/fair assessment from readers, and may result in biased feedback.

    Humility is key, whether you’re established or emerging, and only one of the above-mentioned appeared to display that here. Hopefully both parties have learned from this unfortunate incident, which will be confirmed in the longevity of their respective brands.

    Where is Olivia Pope when you need her? 🙂

    • pinkgrasshopperadmin October 15, 2014 - 8:12 am

      Hi! Thanks for chiming in!

      We agree that all info pertaining to both sides of this situation should be disclosed and while we originally did not include images of Maxie’s statement (because this post was created before she released it) we DID mention that her dress was indeed inspired by a Costello design and that she said so offline.

      Images of her statement is now included so it makes this point a bit more visible.

      Thanks so much again for your input!

  • amilu July 25, 2015 - 5:42 am

    “It’s a risque yet classy burgundy sleeveless piece that is tight fitting, cut out in the front, from the belly button up, and wraps around the neck from one side. It is gawgeous!”

    Yeah, it’s not classy at all. It looks like it came from a club wear shop in a strip mall. That’s a whole lot of hullabaloo for one cheap-looking dress!