The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration

Portrait of Invention

The Color Revolution

with author Regina Lee Blaszczyk
and fashion designers
Jeffrey Costello
Robert Tagliapietra

September 25, 2012 @ 7:30 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater
National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.



"Portrait of Invention” marks the publication of The Color Revolution by Regina Lee Blaszczyk. Part of the Lemelson Center’s book series with MIT Press, The Color Revolution traces the relationship of color and commerce, from haute couture to automobile showrooms to interior design, describing the often unrecognized role of the color professional in consumer culture.

Fashion designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra represent today’s “color intermediaries,” who help move new color technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace. Costello Tagliapietra has captured critical acclaim and popular adulation since its debut on the New York runways in Spring 2005. The designers have also pioneered the use of AirDye, an environmentally friendly textile-dyeing process. Each Costello Tagliapietra dress dyed and printed with AirDye saves about 45 gallons of water, 95 megajoules of energy, and 3 kilograms of greenhouse gas.

Arthur Molella, Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History

Joyce Bedi, senior historian, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History

Portrait of Invention
Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, Costello Tagliapietra
Regina Lee Blaszczyk, author of The Color Revolution

About the speakers

Award-winning historian and author Regina Lee Blaszczyk writes on business, culture, and the economy. She has published extensively on corporations, marketing, innovation, design, and fashion. Her work reaches both scholarly audiences and the general public, with particular emphasis on life-long learners.

Costello Tagliapietra fashions
Photos courtesy Costello Tagliapietra

Born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Jeffrey Costello moved to New York as a teenager and began his career in fashion by designing clothing for a variety of downtown actresses and musicians. In 1994, he met New York native Robert Tagliapietra, a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design, and together they created Costello Tagliapietra.

As children, Robert and Jeffrey both learned the finer points of tailoring from their grandmothers. Today, playing with the tension between fabric, drape, and silhouette, the designers have established a unique vision, both elegant and timeless.


Costello Tagliapietra »

AirDye and its use in fashion »

AirDye process (video) »

Regina Lee Blaszczyk’s work »

Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation book series »

Order The Color Revolution »

Please turn off all electronic devices during the program. Photographing or recording this event, unless previously authorized, is not permitted. This program is being recorded by the Museum and your participation in the audience question-and-answer period serves as consent to be recorded. The program is subject to change.


Last Update: 18 Sept 2012

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