Christian Siriano spins a colorful yarn with dramatic, glamorous collection

Christian-Siriano-fall-2016-look-09_095913 Christian Siriano textured crepe shawl collar dress and knit scarf
Christian Siriano textured crepe shawl collar dress and knit scarf. Photo by Dan Lecca

Christian Siriano has a flair for the dramatic and it shows with his fall collection that was unveiled at New York Fashion Week. It’s one of his best yet, showing the maturity he has developed since bursting on the scene as the winner of Project Runway in 2008.

The collection is filled with vibrant primary colors — bold reds, bright yellows, glittery blacks — and innovative fabric techniques, with a clever digital print that looks like woven yarn. Backstage after the show, Siriano said he was inspired by the textile artist Sheila Hicks’s exhibition, “Art of the Yarn.”

“I loved that it was knit textiles that could be considered very heavy but for evening,” he said. “How do you modernize them so they’re wearable without being knitted all the time? Some of them are just digital prints. Some of them are crochet. It just depends.”

While Siriano shows some smart daywear styles, including wide-legged cashmere trousers, long-sleeve cable knit dresses and textured wrap coats, he excels at glamorous evening looks, ranging from slinky slip dresses dotted with paillettes to ruffled gowns and suits with floor-length cape jackets that will appeal to a variety of clients.

“I was actually trying to do a couple of different things we haven’t really done before — new silhouettes, new mixing of certain colors that haven’t always been paired together. I also wanted the collection to feel really diverse for a lot of different types of women to wear,” he said.

While it’s a fall/winter collection, the bright colors and relatively lightweight fabrics mean that many looks can be worn practically year ’round. “I love that it can be worn in a lot of different places. It can be a cold climate, it can be a warm climate you can wear these things. That’s important,” he said.

Houston fashion lovers will get to see the collection next month when Siriano is the featured guest at the Passion for Fashion luncheon at River Oaks Country Club on March 10 and in a personal appearance at Elizabeth Anthony. The luncheon benefits the Houston Community College fashion design program.

Amid the chaos backstage, Siriano seemed remarkably calm. When asked what keeps him going, he joked, “I don’t know anymore.”

“Luckily, I think the shows help because I like putting on a performance. This is the fun part. The selling, the business all of that, is the stressful part. I think it’s nice I get to do these and everybody enjoys it. That’s the best part.”

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