Close your show with superstar model Coco Rocha draped in a showstopping black ruffled avant-garde gown? Check. Stack your front row with celebrities like Leslie Jones, Danielle Brooks, Vanessa Williams, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B and Patricia Clarkson? They were all there. And pepper your collection with drool-worthy garments that elicited “oohs and ahhs” from the traditionally reserved crowds of New York Fashion Week? He did that, too.
Christian Siriano’s spring collection fired on all cylinders Saturday in a brightly lit, packed waterfront space in Manhattan’s Pier 59 Studios. The offerings, which the Annapolis native said felt like a “psychedelic hallucination of what’s inside my fantasy greenhouse,” showed a new growth for the designer and firmly established him as one of the country’s pre-eminent designers.
Siriano sent out stunning look after stunning look in an array of bold colors such as electric fuchsia, sunny yellow and grass green during the fashion show. There were 63 in total. He also sent out a purse adorned with the message “People Are People,” which kept in line with his dedication to inclusion. Models representing all ethnicities and body types — there were both male and gender-fluid models — were included in the show. And it clearly resonated with the attendees — especially Jones, the “Saturday Night Live” actress, who was her usual comical, boisterous self as she yelled words of encouragement and provided a running commentary from her front-row seat.
“Christian Siriano has brought back an element to fashion and Fashion Week at large that has been missing for quite a while — the people. From his inclusive runway to his eclectic front row, Christian’s ability to make beautiful red-carpet-worthy clothes without isolating everyday people is what makes his brand standout,” said Zoey Washington, senior style editor at Brit + Co, the San Francisco-based women’s lifestyle company. “It is part of his company’s DNA and never feels like a gimmick. Authenticity is just what he is about.”
The clothes were exceptionally strong this season from the designer, whose quick trajectory to fashion greatness included studying in London with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood before his own international notoriety as the most recognizable winner from the Emmy-winning TV show “Project Runway.” That’s led to a slew of designer collaborations with brands from Lane Bryant to Payless and Best Buy; inclusion on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2015; and earning a reputation as a designer willing to work with any celebrity — regardless of size — for red-carpet events.
He also scored a major feat having Rocha open and close his show. Her appearance on the runway is a rarity. The supermodel typically sits front-row in New York and rarely walks shows outside Europe.
“The collection is playful, bold and feminine: a perfect mix of something new and exciting for our customer,” Siriano said