story by Lisa Radano
photos by Stephen Bodi
Christian Siriano, the impish young designer, who in his bookish clothes and thick-rimmed glasses resembles a punkish Harry Potter, conjured an enchantment of looks for the Fall 2013 runway where the little wizard’s knack for crafting opulent day and evening wear was deftly demonstrated and shown atop a line of velvet buckled pumps, lace up boots and sling-backed platforms. The latter available the following day at Payless for thirty dollars – neat trick that! With Russia as his guide Siriano’s day looks included black leather trousers, skirts and dresses with wool and fur accents, great coats in shearling and alpaca, stretch brocade t-shirts, and an ingenious golden faux fur pencil skirt, which “a girl could totally wear to work if she wanted to.” Nice work if you can get it…
But enough about the day-job, let’s get to the magic of the cocktail hour, which was well represented with a series of fitted black dresses: strapless, off shoulder, halter, and v-neck. There were regency prints and gold beads, and standout silver lacquered silk coat with tulip hem and matching cigarette pants. A pop of fuchsia was applied to glittery dresses, both slim and full skirted, as well as an evening pants suit.
Russia came through the strongest in evening gowns of black velvet, silk, and chiffon, trimmed in ornate gold band at the bodice and shoulder. Black tulle was used in a full skirt as well as a cape, both trimmed in rich gold filigree. A nifty duo in peplum bustier pantsuits, one of metallic black the other of gold sequin, was offered in a take your pick manner. The showstopper was a body-hugging column of antique chevron sequins so ornate that it could be heard clanging and tinkling over the soundtrack as the model glided by.
Backstage, a flurry of adoring fans gathered around the boy who lived to design. He sighed, saying he was way tired but super happy. When asked about prospects for seeing his glamorous designs on the red carpet, Siriano agreed that would be lovely but sighing again he countered, “The whole red carpet thing and all the commentary has gotten a little bit mean. It’s getting so hard these days to take a fashion risk!” Having just shown a collection of elegant clothes that push the limits just enough, it’s evident that Siriano is willing to take a few risks himself. And after all, that’s what wizards do.