ONCE AND FOR ALL: The Savannah College of Art and Design’s Museum of Art has put Christian Siriano in the spotlight with a new exhibition.
This is a milestone for the East Coast-based designer who is known for his inclusivity-driven designs, a celebrity following and social media might. That is a winning combination for the fashion-leaning school, which has unveiled the “People Are People” show on its Savannah campus. More than 35 of Siriano’s creations — including red carpet looks like Janelle Monáe’s custom gown for the 2019 Met Gala — are on view through Jan. 30.
Body positivity and self-expression are undercurrents in his work as well as amped-up glamour. The designer started his business in 2008, and he has since built a following for voluminous gowns, accessories, bridal and other categories. Posting an image of himself seated in the exhibition to his 1.8 million Instagram followers, Siriano wrote Sunday, ”Looking back feeling proud of what we have done…”
The rainbow-colored exhibition features designs worn by Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Billy Porter, Laverne Cox and others. Siriano said, “As a young designer, it has always been my dream to create and inspire others, especially a young generation, and I truly hope this exhibit does that. The exhibition is a celebration of people in all of their beauty.”
SCAD founder and president Paula Wallace said in a statement that what sets Siriano apart “is his belief that fashion is for everyone — and when we zip up a Siriano design, we are all stars.”
The Siriano show is a touchstone for the museum’s 10th anniversary programming. Siriano was on hand over the weekend for an opening reception with a few of his muses: Alicia Silverstone, Christina Hendricks and Danielle Brooks. Some of his staffers, friends and relatives were also at the event, which coincided with the 24th annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival.
Another show that Siriano is tied to, Bravo’s “Project Runway,” is also back with a new season — its 19th to date. The 35-year-old was a previous winner on the reality show and launched his own company after that. A newer venture for Siriano is as the new designer for Gloria Vanderbilt. Separately, Siriano has introduced an interior design studio.