NYFW NEWS: Christian Siriano, a Designer for all Body Types

On Saturday afternoon, seated in the front row of Christian Siriano’s sartorial sojourn to Capri were Kelly Osbourne, Coco Rocha, Christina Hendricks, Pamela Anderson, Neve Campbell and Jaimie Alexander.

They watched as an array of models, including a handful who are referred to in the industry as curvy or plus-size, made their way around the runway, wearing a collection that included shoes on sale at Payless and several looks that were made available on Amazon.com immediately after the show.

Their presence was a reminder of the effects star power can have on a designer who isn’t necessarily celebrated by fashion critics. “If the industry isn’t always around to support, there are really famous women who are,” Mr. Siriano said backstage after the show.

Mr. Siriano made fashion news twice this summer: first, when he dressed the actress Leslie Jones after she complained on Twitter that no designer wanted to help her with an outfit for the premiere of “Ghostbusters”; and, second, when Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses to the Democratic National Convention, at which she gave a widely praised speech.

“It was amazing,” Mr. Siriano said of the first lady’s decision. “Sometimes you need a person like that to give you a little boost.” His feelings on the acclaim that came after the situation with Ms. Jones were more reserved. “It was hard to be celebrated for just making a dress for somebody in that way,” said Mr. Siriano, who has worked with a range of celebrities, including Amber Rose, Lady Gaga and Laverne Cox.

He expressed surprise at the lack of designers wanting to provide a look for Ms. Jones. “It’s a huge party, it’s a huge premiere, it’s great coverage,” he said. “That’s what designers do every day.”

Ms. Anderson and Ms. Hendricks, both wearing Christian Siriano at the show, praised the designer’s ability to dress different women. “There are a lot of body shapes,” Ms. Anderson said. “Not everybody is going to fit into tiny, tiny dresses for six-foot women. It’s really refreshing.”

Ms. Hendricks, who has a been a longtime supporter of Mr. Siriano and who took some heat in 2010 when she wore one of his designs to the Golden Globes, said Mr. Siriano is a respectful collaborator who encourages personal style. “He’s classy and ladylike,” Ms. Hendricks said. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Christian loves a ruffle, and so do I.”

Mr. Siriano, reflecting on his growing success, noted that he has done everything possible to be visible. “We can’t do much more,” he said. “We’ve dressed everyone, we sell at all the great retailers and we offer every price point.”

What he hasn’t done is radically change the look he offers.

“I’ve been making the same type of clothes this entire time,” Mr. Siriano said. “It’s nice that people are noticing more.”

By VALERIYA SAFRONOVA | Source: nytimes.com

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