There’s no rest for Christian Siriano this holiday season.
In addition to promoting a new edition of his book “Dresses to Dream About” and a museum retrospective of his work at SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design, plus overseeing sales of his debut collection as creative director of Gloria Vanderbilt, he’s about to take on his first hotel project.
“You’re the first person I’ve told,” Siriano said of his next gig, designing 16 rooms and the penthouse for the London West Hollywood.
Introduced earlier this year, his interior design firm Siriano Design will handle the details all the way down to the linens and coffee-table books. “I’ve been staying there for 15 years, and one day the GM said, ‘I think you should be our designer.’ Maybe I will get a kickback for all the money I’ve spent,” he laughed.
He also had interiors on his mind when designing his nostalgic pre-fall collection, which ran the gamut from jeans and a fun plaid cutaway coat with a touch of ’90s neo-romantic, to dramatic looks for the roaring 2020s’ return to occasion and red carpet dressing.
“Growing up, my mom had this lipstick-red tweedy sofa in our living room, which we couldn’t touch or sit in, and this big cherry wood dining table and damask curtains,” he said of being inspired by old family photos of the living room at home in Annapolis, Md., where he made some of his first designs.
That led to the collection’s bold red, white and black palette. “My mom is a big black-and-white dresser, she got married in a black-and-white DVF wrap dress, so I always remember that,” said Siriano.
The black scoop-neck, slit-front dress edged in white ruffles, with more ruffles running down each sleeve, had that same kind of Diane von Furstenberg sportswear utility filtered through Siriano’s fantasy lens.
The designer’s childhood memories of ballet dancing informed body-con dresses with waist cutouts for all sizes, and a fanciful black tulle halter dress dotted with flowers.
1990s photos of his sister wound their way into a black strapless lace-corset dress with taffeta miniskirt, while the black bandeau bra top with red ruched tulle ballskirt was 2022 all the way.
There was a playful surrealism to sculptural, bunny-ear-like details jutting out from the bodice of a sleek black gown, and the beaded-eye bustier on a strapless dress recalling Janelle Monáe’s 2019 Met Gala look. Meanwhile, a black velvet minidress with a single draped shoulder was an example of what Siriano can do when he focuses more on simplicity.
“Sometimes the pre-collections because I don’t have to have a show, come out more organic and natural and beautiful….I think it’s because I have less pressure.”
He has a point.