Christian Siriano. The name brings about memories of "Ferosha Coutura," good Project Runway seasons, and giant poufy dresses.
But the pint-sized wonderboy has grown so much since those days. Now with a successful shoe and bag line for Payless and sunglasses on the horizon, Christian Siriano is becoming a brand beyond reality TV.
The problem with Siriano's SS11 collection is that it's caught in limbo between wearable and editorial looks. While the sportswear felt like a tribute to tried and true vacation-wear (slim white pants, leather short trenches, voluminous maxi-dresses, lone ruffles, and exotic prints) his sumptuous evening wear is a unique offering. No American designer can create an evening gown with a four foot diameter like Siriano. The dresses are stunningly crafted and have a kooky drama that instantly identifies them as Siriano-made; all trademarks of an excellent designer and an excellent brand.
At this point in his career, Siriano needs to choose a team and stick with it--I say drama all the way. His strength is making elaborate evening wear that's probably unwearable by most of the population, but covetable by editorial standards. And with a clear talent for accessory design (the shoes are immaculate as are the sunglasses) there's potential for Siriano to grow a business in the accessories market while maintaining an extravagant runway presentation.