At N.Y. Fashion Week, Christian Siriano pulls out all the stops to celebrate a decade in the design business

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Womenswear designer Christian Siriano, the most successful alumnus of Bravo reality show “Project Runway” to date, used his fall 2018 runway show Saturday afternoon to celebrate his label’s first decade. It was a 22-minute-long, 72-look, glamour-packed extravaganza themed loosely around the notion of a royal dinner party.

Over the last 10 years, Siriano has deftly made his line the go-to for inclusiveness – gender-wise as well as size-wise – without it being deemed a “plus-size” label. The regal-themed collection that filled the Grand Lodge Room of the Freemasons’ Grand Lodge of New York reflected that design diversity, serving up colors, cuts and sparkly embellishments for women (and a few men) in sizes that ranged from rail thin to super curvaceous.

Siriano’s show notes cited British art of the late 18th century — specifically the collection on display in the Queen’s Gallery in London — as an inspiration for the collection’s fabrics and silhouettes, which ranged from nude-colored turtleneck body suits (covered in a scribbly all-over script that resembled the signature on a royal decree) to voluminous floor-length faux-fur coats and ruched tulle ball gowns.


In between, there were all manner of wraps, drapes, clings, shiny things and a few pieces of over-the-top headgear (by Betto Garcia). In addition to an emphasis on “regal red” throughout the collection, royalty-inspired touches included diaphanous capes that trailed behind turquoise chiffon gowns; curlicues of mirrored sequin “armor” on coats and cocktail dresses; and wide, sparkly bands of crystals that graced several of the more glammed-out looks at the collar and shoulders, recalling the embellishments that might encircle a monarch’s crown. ‎

Some of the more memorable pieces were ones that played with volume. Some accented curve-hugging dresses with frills that ran down the shoulders and along the arms. And let’s not forget about the red-carpet-worthy gowns formed from crepe and cascading tulle that resembled wearable bouquets of roses.

A constellation of celebrity friends and clients were on hand to help Siriano celebrate, resulting in one of the week’s most eclectic front-row lineups, with i Laverne Cox, Cardi B, Molly Shannon, Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Jamie Alexander and Nastia Liukin among them.

They’d probably agree that the decade-long reign of Siriano the Inclusive has been as good for the subjects as for the monarch. Long live the king.

For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.