There's no doubt that "fierce" former Project Runway winner Christian Siriano has done an admirable job of working his flair for the dramatic and utter quotability (not to mention that reality TV recognition) to his advantage. In addition to earning celeb fans like Victoria Beckham and Christina Hendricks and rolling out shoe collections for Payless, the pint-sized mogul was one of the first designers to master the Twitter game. But despite his likability, many of the intricate evening dresses for which he's known are, in the words of his Runway mentor Tim Gunn, "a lot of look."
It was refreshing to see him dial down the drama a bit this time around, with his pleated maxiskirts in coral and chartreuse paired with snug striped tees stealing the show. Siriano also rolled out some great paper-bag-waisted palazzo pants and crepe cape blouses, as well as a seriously yummy crocodile blazer-and-skirt ensemble. With sportswear this cool, I almost wish he had included more of these pieces and fewer of those over-the-top gowns.
Siriano was inspired by sea creatures this season, and so clusters of chiffon ruffles were made to mimic barnacles--though I wouldn't have made the connection without the help of his show notes. And a few ostrich-feather numbers fell flat, as their layered plumes seemed more limp and raggedy than airy and light (perhaps this weekend's muggy weather had an impact on Siriano's trims of choice). It probably would've helped if the designer had narrowed down the overwhelming number of different silhouettes and trims at play here; when using this much screaming chartreuse, clean lines are key. That said, it seems Siriano's got many devoted fans in high places--Runway's Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia both sat front-row, as did Elle's Joe Zee and deejay Leigh Lezark. Said the MisShapes stunner post-show, "I've been a big fan of Christian's for a really long time--I've actually deejaying his afterparty tonight! I especially loved the sheer, long skirts with all those folds in them--they're just so elegant."
**All images: Imaxtree