Fashion designer Christian Siriano’s lavish celebrity looks land at SCADFASH

 Fashion designer Christian Siriano’s lavish celebrity looks land at SCADFASH


Christian Siriano SCADFASH
Christian Siriano

Photo courtesy of SCADFASH

Last week, an exhibition of nearly 70 showstopping looks by fashion designer Christian Siriano opened at SCAD’s glossy Midtown museum, SCADFASH, featuring a color-coded rainbow of gowns, gender-bending suit, and waterfalls in tulle and billowing velvet.

The thirty-six-year-old Siriano is probably relatively new for a career retrospective (no, he’s not retiring, mocking supermodel Coco Rocha, who attended dressed in a crow-like sculptural column dress), but it is the diversity of his oeuvre that makes. her uber clothes are relevant and important today. Siriano, a fantastic success story from the Bravo reality show Project Runway (she now serves as the show’s mentor), known as the go-to designer label for dressing people (especially celebrities) that don’t fit the runway sample size or are entrenched in the stodgy world of high fashion. —People of all ages, genders, colors, shapes, and sizes.

Christian Siriano SCADFASH

Photo courtesy of SCADFASH

Christian Siriano SCADFASH

Photo courtesy of SCADFASH

Christian Siriano SCADFASH

Photo courtesy of SCADFASH

The exhibition, People are people, reads like a modern history of pop culture moments. Michelle Obama has a cobalt blue cap-sleeve dress for the 2016 Democratic National Convention (Jill Biden wears a Syrian at the 2020 DNC). The glittering showpiece worn by rapper Lizzo to receive a 2020 Grammy. Jane Fonda’s mint tuxedo gown in the April 2022 issue of Elle. Tulle rainbow dress actor and LGBTQ+ activist Billy Porter wore to the WorldPride celebration in 2019. Curator Rafael Gomes explored the world for all mannequin sizes to show off real bodies adorned with costumes; the alabaster surfaces are covered with corresponding tulle.

Christian Siriano SCADFASH
Billy Porter stands out with the tulle rainbow dress he wore to WorldPride 2019.

Photo courtesy of SCADFASH

Porter, who arrived to open in a black and gold striped suit with a plunging neckline, told a story about a toast about struggling to find for the 2019 Oscars. Then, while sitting at a Christian Siriano runway show, she had a glimpse of the look she wanted: a velvet tux on top and hooped ball skirt on the bottom. “I sat down at the fashion week at the Christian Siriano show, and coming to the runway were all types, all shapes, all sizes, all creeds,” Porter said. “He always did it; is in his DNA. I’m already starting to try to play binary and my silhouette. I get a lot of push from the big fashion houses telling me what I need to do. [I was thinking] I need something for the Oscars, I need a high-end, I need a nameand here I was sitting at the fashion show and I was like, oh my god. When the shot is about to take place, and it looks like a tuxedo and if it pulls on an antebellum gown, everyone will roll. The whole world will mock. And I was sitting at that fashion show and I realized — he was the only person to do it. He is the only person who can say yes to me. ”

Christian Siriano SCADFASH
Siriano and Porter at the opening of the exhibition

Photo courtesy of SCADFASH

Christian Siriano SCADFASH
Coco Rocha, Siriano, and Porter

Photo courtesy of SCADFASH

Porter’s story isn’t unique, and Siriano has started dressing people — pregnant, plus-size, nonbinary, etc. — for big events that other labels don’t like. “I think it’s so crazy,” he said. “No one is going to have a hard time finding a dress.” We sat down with Syrian for more of his borderline fashion.

If there’s one look you don’t want without anyone because you feel it’s important to the story of this exhibition, what is it?
It’s hard. I think I’d say pieces that are pretty sexless, like the things Billy Porter wore or this Michael Urie look. [a half dress, half suit for the 2019 Met Gala], and to make sure they can notice the size of the bodies in the room. We had a size 0 to 26 in this room, which was very cool.

Do you have a hand in mannequins and their style?
Sure. Everything in this room was dressed up by someone, maybe someone who was well known and recognized by the people. So we want to make sure it’s their body as much as we can. We have to make sure of that [plus-size supermodel] Ashley Graham in her appearance on the runway is different from Ashley Graham in her appearance when she was pregnant. Oprah is Oprah in Oprah’s body. I think it’s very important to see, especially the younger generation to see — I think it inspires them.

You are called a designer for people who are rejected by other designers. Do you have specific stories about that?
Mao to [actor and comedian] Leslie Jones ’dress is up front! I think Leslie is probably the best example of that. Leslie was having a hard time finding a gown for her size Ghostbusters premiere moment, it was his first big movie. We dressed him. I think it’s so silly — no one should have a hard time finding a dress— like the craziest thing. Clothes have to be fun — we’re not curing cancer here, we’re wearing bodies. That should be very easy and accessible, and I’ve always felt that way, and I hope it becomes something more.

On that note, clothes are fun — you can’t cure cancer—
My worst quote ever. But I hate that sometimes people take it so seriously, and at the end of the day, it’s just a form of art — it’s like hanging a painting on a wall, it’s hanging a beautiful piece in your closet. —No rules. .

But fashion can also be an agent of change. Is that something you want to do?
I think I will do it now. I want to make sure we create non-binary pieces, which we show you can make a unique piece of art of any size, any age, any gender.

The message of inclusivity — is that personal to you?
I mean, it doesn’t have to be. Obviously being a young gay man growing up isn’t always the easiest. So, sure.

I was just wondering how you could be “the guy” for all the different body types.
I think I’m just starting to do this. I did it, and I had nothing to do with it. I don’t have to reach for it. We just do. If I’m a fan of yours, and I love you, like Leslie Jones — I’m a big fan of Leslie Jones — why would I say no to wearing her?

Is there anyone you haven’t designed for that you want?
You know how funny, I can actually work on almost everything on my bucket list — but there are always new people. There is always a new artist, a new musician to come. Didn’t even know who Lizzo was a few years ago. I loved him, and I worked with him for many years. Gaga is still the same. I was one of the first people to wear Gaga on television. Didn’t even know who he was. And I love that.

So do you have your finger on the wrist of who the next person is?
Sometimes. Every now and then I feel like I got someone very early in their career. Billy Porter is a good example of that. When I first wore Billy, especially on the occasion of the Oscars, I think that changed the game. I wore Regina King, that was her first Oscar ever, isn’t that crazy? Hannah Wattingham from Ted Lasso, her first Emmy since. And she won that dress, so cool. Those were my favorite moments — I could also be a part of their history.

Is there anything about this exhibition that isn’t in the museum literature that you want to tell people?
I think what’s cool is that every piece except two is the actual piece that everyone is wearing. It’s rare that you can get every piece back. That was hard. Gaga keeps her own archives, a lot of people do. Oprah kept her own things. The First Ladies, those two are just non -original pieces because they buy their clothes, theirs. And they’re all pretty intact. These clothes were worn all night, on stage, I had no idea how they lived. Lizzo plays that, Gaga plays that, wild to think.

To watch until October 9, scadfash.org.