Christian Siriano built his name designing bold and audacious red carpet creations for A-listers, which means his New York Fashion Week runways are destined to be visual delights from the word ‘go’. For spring summer ‘22, which Siriano showcased at Gotham Hall in Midtown, this was true and then some. From the first look, a tangerine three-piece suit (the new kind: bralette, trousers, and blazer) worn by mega model Precious Lee, the collection was a smorgasbord of colour and volume. In a moment where many brands are embracing a kind of soft austerity, Siriano’s message was resolute: more is more is more.
The aforementioned tangerine shade—inspired by an old family photo of Siriano’s Italian grandmother, who was the collection’s muse—appeared throughout, in slinky cut-out mini dresses, on high-necked cocktail dresses with outrageously ruffled satin sleeves, and the big tulle skirt Lee closed the show in. Elsewhere, a zesty shade of apple green popped up on hooded capes, voluminous evening gowns, and deconstructed satin suits. A trio of sheer tulle black dresses with the word ‘Siriano’ tattooed across the bust gave a subtle nod to the Y2K renaissance, while tailored suits and day dresses made of leather and stitched with intricate white graphics were a highlight.
A benefit of Siriano’s fashion shows is that they often offer a teaser as to who will be the first to wear the new collection. Which is to say: the FROWs are a people watcher’s delight. This time around you had the mononymous Marina, who opened the show with a performance, alongside an array of A-listers: Katie Holmes, Lil’ Kim, Alicia Silverstone, Coco Rocha, Kim Petras, and Busy Phillips. The eclecticism of the front row is a testament to the fact that Siriano appeals to a multitude of women. He was among the first designers to genuinely embrace size diversity on the runway.
When Leslie Jones Tweeted about her frustration at the lack of available dresses from more established fashion houses during the Ghostbusters roll out, Siriano reached out offering to dress her for the whole tour. Years later, his fan base spans Billy Porter to Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande to Oprah Winfrey. Which just goes to prove that non-exclusive fashion isn’t only essential to an ethical industry—it’s great business too.