Christian Siriano, 22, was dubbed the “boy wonder” when he won the fourth season of “Project Runway.” Siriano’s first solo fashion week show today gives him the chance to prove he’s more than a reality TV star.
This story first appeared in the September 11, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: What have you been doing since “Project Runway?”
Christian Siriano: It has been a crazy ride. I have had the opportunity to do so many projects and dress some of the most stylish women in Hollywood. I designed a small collection, which was sold on Bluefly.com, and I am working on a couture collection to be shown in the new film “Eloise in Paris,” starring Uma Thurman. I also worked on a small project with Puma. Additionally, I have a book coming out in 2009. I have also done a variety of events and fashion correspondent work, from “The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards” to the “MTV Video Music Awards,” and, coming up in a few weeks, I will be a red-carpet commentator at the 2008 “Primetime Emmy Awards.”
WWD: How have you been treated in the design community and in the world at large since winning?
C.S.: The fashion community has been so welcoming and supportive. I think it’s hard to come off a reality TV show and be able to break into the industry and be taken seriously as a designer. It was a dream come true to be able to show the collection I designed for “Project Runway” at fashion week and my debut solo spring 2009 collection will be such a step forward. I hope. People have been encouraging and kind. I have been invited to some great events and have had the chance to meet so many amazing people.
WWD: How does your first solo fashion week show compare with showing as part of the competition?
C.S.: This fashion week I have had a hand in all aspects of my show, from sponsorships to venue choice to invitations. “Project Runway” was all set up for us, which made it only about the clothes, not the other elements that go into having a successful show. “Project Runway” was actually such a breeze compared to doing it myself.
WWD: What was your inspiration this season?
C.S.: Inspiration for this season came from so many places, especially nature. The sky, the shapes of the clouds, the idea of sharp pops of lightning influenced the color. The collection is very organic and then goes into a look that is icy and almost cold, yet still very light at the same time. It is romantic with an edge, which is very me.
WWD: What are your plans for this line?
C.S.: I hope the response to my collection this season will be strong. The clothes have a fresh look to them and will offer women looking for high-end designer clothing something new. In the seasons to come, after concentrating on ready-to-wear for a while, I hope the lifestyle items will come. Bags, shoes, etcetera — that’s my ultimate goal.
WWD: How did things go with Victoria Beckham — have you dressed her?
C.S.: Things with Victoria went very well. She was so amazing, and I owe so much of my success to her, I really do. I gave her some great pieces — it’s an honor to have been invited for a fitting with her and to have my clothes in her closet. She is such an icon.
WWD: What do you think of the current season of “Project Runway?” Do you have a favorite designer?
C.S.: The current season of the show is OK. I was really hoping for something wow, but I think it’s yet to come. I can’t wait to see the collection show — that is the final test.