Insta-Critic: Christian Siriano Goes to the Jungle

Flanked by greenery, showgoers at the Siriano show had a sense of the leopard-print to come before the show began. Feathers, leaf appliques, and tiger prints stalked the runway on over-sized coats and high-drama ballgowns. The equally wild stellar front row included Coco Rocha, Juliette Lewis, Kelly Osborne, Zendaya, and Kesha. Waiting for #ChristianSiriano #FW15 #NYFW #LagoBluBlog @csiriano

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Bright lids backstage

Temporary escape from the snow

@csiriano always serves drama & elegance on the runway. #christiansiriano #LBSatNYFW #nyfw #mbfw

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Siriano serves up the drama

Congo jungle hit the #runway @csiriano #ChristianSiriano #fashionshow #newyorkfashionweek #nyfw fw15 @theuntitledmagazine @indiracesarine

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A stampede like finale

#Backstage @csiriano with @kellyosbourne #fashionweek #newyork #ny #nyfw #fashionshow #christiansiriano #kellyosbourne

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Kelly Osborne gets a preview backstage

It’s show day and my team and I are heading to the venue now. Thanks so much @Uber_NYC for the great ride! A photo posted by Christian Siriano (@csiriano) on

Siriano makes his entrance

Christian Siriano Designs Clothes out of Tweets

Christian Siriano and Verizon debuted the first-ever social imprint dresses last night at the Gilded Lily. What exactly is a social imprint dress, and why is it worth reading about? Excellent question readers.

The social imprint dress is basically a visual data graphic constructed from tweets (yes–tweets). This was done by Verizon, who monitored and categorized tweets at or including a hashtag for a Fashion Rocks artist or designer. The fabric, which consists of a modern cubic print, is actually the composite of symbols representing the different categories of social media posts. The style of fabric and final dresses were designed by the talented Christian Siriano, and will be up for auction on Charity Buzz (bid here!) until October 7 with all proceeds going to Dress for Success.

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NYC Openings: Nolita gets Fierce and French with Christian Siriano, Sandro, and Maje

French chic It-girls, or at least the wannabes aspiring to Parisian perfection, will endure little hardship expanding their wardrobes while gallivanting around Nolita, thanks to recent openings at Sandro, Maje, and Christian Siriano (pictured).

While it’s utterly adorable that a set of French sisters started hip labels Sandro and Maje, the offerings at each are anything but cutesy. Sibling rivalry is silly, so of course the stores sit primly side by side on Prince Street (not completely unexpectedly, as the same thing happened on Bleecker last year).
At Sandro, it’s all about the girl power—their tremendously popular menswear is excluded from this space. Python-print pantsuits, demure blouses, and knockout tweed blazers with ballsy leather zip details are prime for the picking. Posh Parisian power couple Didier and Evelyn Chétrite’s light and airy vision for the space allows the prints and bright separates to shine, with a limited-edition line of Doors T’s rounding out the wares. (As every It-girl knows, it’s a faux pas to not have an overpriced, pre-worn band T at beck and call to pair with perfectly worn denim).
A mere door down, second sister Judith Milgrom adds another Maje shop to her NYC repertoire. A Parisian apartment-style space with chevron wood floors and an epic chandelier houses striped jacquard coats, structured mini-skirts, and metallic booties. Leandra Medine (a.k.a. The Man Repeller, and queen bee of the fashion blogette brigade) curated the inaugural window display, so this shop has the cool factor on (literal) full-frontal display.
Maryland native Christian Siriano may hail from slightly less swanky real estate, but his debut Elizabeth Street boutique is anything but subtle. Winning season four of Project Runway swung the fashion doors open for 26-year-old Siriano, a warm-up for a red-doored concept shop resplendent with glossy black walls and a posh zebra-print rug. While his sleek-and-chic eveningwear has charmed the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, and of course Ms. Klum, Siriano intends to shift the spotlight onto his lesser-known sportswear, including lux leather-trimmed tops and crisp citrus-hued trousers. Home goods pleasantly co-habitate with shoes and python clutches poised for his girl-about-town clientele. Still in soft launch, a fab September soirée on Fashion’s Night Out will mark the official opening. 

Pierre Hardy Hits GAP, More Siriano for Payless

Pierre Hardy’s latest, much-anticipated collection for Gap has finally begun trickling into stores in NYC, Chicago, Houston, and soon LA and San Francisco. Hardy’s beloved wedges will retail for $195 alongside a few Gap-made designs, which are likely to be just as coveted (Fashionologie even mistook one design for another Pierre Hardy item – whoever is working on footwear at Gap HQ deserves some props). Stock is still limited, but more is apparently on the way. The shoes were initially slated for release last week, but Racked NY confirms that Times Square might be your best – or only – bet if you’re looking to score the kicks now. Then again, they also reported that, as of this morning, the store has only received five pairs of the lace-up style. While Gap deserves kudos for the ongoing success of this collaboration, they also deserve a slap on the wrist: considering the snafu over their new logo, Gap should be making extra efforts to meet deadlines and drum up adequate stock, especially when it comes to such a highly-publicized collaboration.

News of another designer collaboration, Christian Siriano and Payless, has also been released today. The Project Runway alumnus is expanding his lower-priced collection for Fall 2011, says Stylelist. This time around it will include less formal shoes, sandals, and handbags, all of which will continue to be priced on par with Payless’, well, name. On the other end of the spectrum, Siriano “is also considering a higher-priced footwear line to complement his ready-to-wear collection,” Footwear News reports.

Photo via Racked NY

Christian Siriano Named Youngest Ever “40-Under-40″

Move over Alexander Wang. Project Runway prodigy (“Tim Gunn…realized within 30 seconds of meeting Mr. Siriano that he was special”) and industry wunderkind Christian Siriano has won over the critics – and now, the economy. The designer was named one of Crain’s “40-under-40,” an honor typically reserved for the who’s who of finance and philanthropy – other winners include 39 year-old Seth Pinsky, the head of the city’s Economic Development Corp, and 38 year-old John Lockwood, executive director for the city’s Habitat for Humanity.

“The day that Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, Christian Siriano had meetings scheduled with buyers from various retailers,” writes Crain’s New York Business. “They all canceled.”

“The sassy young designer, who had just shown his first solo collection during Fashion Week, knew he needed to be more than a runway wonder to succeed in the era of the great recession. He quickly diversified.”

In came talon-esque shoes for Payless, an LG lotus promotion and a Victoria Secret cosmetic line. A Secret deodorant plug and $20,000 deal with Bertolli were denied because they didn’t fit the image he was trying to develope. (“I cried,” says Mr. Siriano, recalling the day he rejected the Bertolli offer.”)

Now, Siriano sells his high-end ware in Saks and Neiman Marcus. Revenue is up 75% since 2008 to $1.2 million and sales are expected to grow an additional 40% this year. Recession be damned.

Siriano will share the secrets to this success in a “really documentary style” Bravo feature this Monday. “It’s very like The September Issue, very Valentino [The Last Emperor]. We want it to be as cool and as real as possible,” Siriano told The Cut way back in November. “It’s going to be really serious, like not so campy. There are a lot of moments that are just silent and like working and like really how serious the business is, because it’s really hard, it really is.”

Here’s a sneak peak:

*We’ve been informed by Steven Kamali’s publicist that he was also 24 years old when named to the list in 2006

Christian Siriano for Payless, Liberty of London for Target

Designer collaborations seem to be launching nearly every week these days. But today, two especially noteworthy partnerships are hitting stores near you. First off are Christian Siriano’s talon-esque heels for Payless (who will likewise soon be hawking beauty too). The shoes caused quite a stir when they hit Siriano’s NYC catwalk last September; despite their daunting shape, they are apparently totally fit for strutting. Not to mention they bear an uncanny resemblance to the late Alexander McQueen’s colossal SS10 shoes (Siriano’s debuted a month prior). So, considering the Payless collab is a limited edition, you’d best be served going fast if you’re planning to nab these $74.99 kicks.

Meanwhile, spring has hit over at Target’s midtown outpost. On the heels of launching is collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier, floral prints a plenty have arrived by way of Liberty of London. The latter has installed a pop-up shop stocked with shirts ($19.99), shirt dresses ($24.99), chairs ($99.99) and inexpensive accessories like tumblers ($2.99) and ties ($17.99). And, considering the shop, which debuts today at 11a.m., had a line of 100 outside its front door prior to opening, like the aforementioned collaboration, this is sure to a “snooze you lose” situation.

Heidi Klum to Design Maternity Clothes

If there are two things Heidi Klum knows a lot about, they’re fashion and pregnancy. (You thought we were going to say boobs, right? She knows a lot about those too.) The supermodel has starred in countless fashion campaigns and runway shows, hosts the long running Project Runway (which starts up again next week, if anyone still cares) and has popped out four adorable children. With her latest project she’s giving one of the show’s former winners a run for his money. Like reality star-turned-bona fide designer Christian Siriano, Klum is launching a maternity line.

Rather than just launch a single collection, Klum is debuting a pair. “Yes, she has two maternity lines coming out February 12: one for Motherhood Maternity called “Loved,” and one for A Pea in the Pod called ‘Lavish’,” says The Cut. The latter is the same line of maternity wear for which Nicole Richie designed a capsule collection, before branching out and creating her own ready-to-wear line. “First deliveries of LAVISH BY HEIDI KLUM include 15 pieces which feature iconic style and detailed construction; a seamless fit with A Pea in the Pod’s sophistication. First deliveries of LOVED BY HEIDI KLUM include 14 pieces that present comfort, playfulness, and supermodel style at the welcoming Motherhood price point,” says a press release announcing the launch of each line. Hopefully a sheer scarf that moonlights as a dress (as Klum is seen wearing here in a promotional image) doesn’t constitute one of the aforementioned looks.

Where Celebs Go Out: Wes Anderson, Emmy Rossum, Charlotte Ronson, & More

At Lucky magazine’s Lucky Shops:

● KATRINA BOWDEN – “I love Café Mogador in the East Village. It’s Moroccan, and they have these great fish and chicken kebabs and really cool dishes and olives and bread. It’s really good. And they have this fish soup that’s amazing, on special sometimes.”

● ANA ORTIZ – “I’m a very local person right now because I don’t have a lot of time away. So there’s this really groovy little place across the street from me called the Speak Low bar and it’s in Dumbo in Brooklyn, and it’s just underneath Rice. It’s a really funky, hip little bar. And they have the most delicious cocktails. As soon as I was able to drink after giving birth, I went down there. They have the best martini I ever had!”

At The Fantastic Mr. Fox press day:

● WES ANDERSON – “There’s a place in Los Angeles called Nishimura that’s a sushi place. That’s a great place. I would recommend that one.”

At launch party for Yoga Wii by Dreamcatcher Interactive Inc.:

● ANJA RUBIK – “Right now — it changes, of course — right now, I’m addicted to Matsuri. It’s a Japanese restaurant in the Maritime Hotel. I just love the food there. It’s incredible and the atmosphere they create there is so beautiful. I love it there. I love the Cipriani’s uptown. I love it. The food is so great. And it also has an incredible atmosphere. Da Silvano is great. Bar Pitti is amazing. It has Italian food, which is fantastic. I love Gobo. It’s all this organic food, vegetarian. It’s on Sixth Avenue near Eighth Street or Seventh Street.”

At Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars:

● SIMON DOONAN – “I love Il Cantinori. It’s around the corner from my house. The risotto primavera is killer!”

● EMMY ROSSUM – “I really like David Burke Townhouse. I love that lollypop tree that comes out at the end. There’s like a cheesecake lollypop tree. It looks like a lollypop, but it’s a ball of cheesecake on the end of stick and it’s in this holder that makes it look like a tree. I really like eating sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, at like 4am.”

● TOMMY HILFIGER – “Rebecca’s in Greenwich, Connecticut. Incredibly delicious. It’s simple, but it’s really, really high-quality food and always well done — consistent. It’s prepared very well.”

● MARK RONSON – “My favorite restaurant in New York is, probably, Gino’s uptown on 60th and Lex. The angel hair with the secret sauce. They call it that. ‘Cause when you’re a kid, and anyone tells you something’s secret, of course, you like think it’s amazing. In the whole word, I don’t know. I wish — I’m really good at answering these questions, but not on the spot.”

● DITA VON TEESE – “I love going to London to eat. I love China Tang at the Dorchester because I love the Art Deco Chinese interior. I love the Wolseley in London. And I’m not familiar with New York restaurants. It seems like they’re ever changing, so …”

At Purgatorio pop-up club:

● JOSH LUCAS – “Oh, the old school — Raoul’s is one of my all-time favorites. And there’s a place right down in my neighborhood, called Broadway East, which is a really interesting new kind of organic, sexy restaurant I like a lot. Also, down by my place, Les Enfants Terribles, you know that place? A good, little fun one. Those are my three that come to mind immediately.”

● SIMON HAMMERSTEIN – “That’s a hard question. I kind of like the 18th floor of the Standard — the bar on the 18th floor. I think he’s done a really good job with that.”

● CHRISTIAN SIRIANO – “In New York, I love the Cooper Square Hotel. We have dinner there a lot, hang out there — really, really fun. But, like hang out, hang out spots — where do we go? Oh, Bagatelle, very fabulous. I’m pretty low key, so I feel like — my couch, that’s where we go to hang out and have a party.”

At Motorola’s party for Droid phone with Verizon service:

● PATRICK HEUSINGER – “I just went to Delicatessen for the first time. I really enjoyed that. We watch Sunday and Monday football at Brother Jimmy’s on the Upper West Side. Yeah, it’s great. We’ve been going there since I was in college because I went to college here in New York, too. And then, I go to the bar, Niagara, on the Lower East Side a lot. That’s one of my haunts. I probably go there once a week. One of my best friends works there, so — it’s on 7th and Avenue A.

● JUDAH FRIEDLANDER – “I don’t drink or anything. I’m a role model for children. But I do eat. The place I really crave is called Sarajevo. It’s in Astoria — Bosnian owners. It’s basically Yugoslavian food. Awesome. That’s the place I crave more than any place. Cevapcici is the main thing. It’s kind of like ground beef and lamb on skewers, and you serve it in this fresh, homemade bread. And there’s this spread called Kajmak. It’s kind of like a sour-cream spread, except a million times better. And then you put ajvar on it, also, which is a like a tomato, red pepper, eggplant spread. And then you put raw onions on it, and you’re in heaven, baby! And you got power! And you’re ready to kick ass! It’s good stuff. The other thing they have is stuffed cabbage with tomato sauce, which they call sarma. It’s in Astoria. It’s on 34th Avenue and 38th Street. It’s so good. That’s my favorite food. I like all the ethnic, little take-out type places. Those are my favorite places.”

At launch of fashion game Style Savvy for the Nintendo DS and DSi:

● CHARLOTTE RONSON – “I love Bar Pitti on 6th Avenue. It’s nice and easy. You can sit outside when the weather is nice. You always run into someone you know. For movies, the Anjelika is nice. It’s clean. I’m drawn to movies that play there. In London, I love Holland Park, Kensington High Street — great area with lots of good shops and walking distance from my parents’ home. La Famiglia is a great restaurant.”

At launch party for Scupltz shapewear and legwear:

● ROBERT VERDI –Le Singe Vert on 7th Avenue. It means the Green Monkey. I was born in ’68, the year of the monkey. I love it. Novita, on 22nd Street, off of Park Avenue. It feels very insider; the food is fabulous. There’s a scene, but it’s not sceney. Da Silvano, because I feel like a big schmaltz when I go there ’cause I’m treated better than I really am. He’s really sweet. I’m very good friends with his wife, Marisa, who treats me like family. Since I grew up in a restaurant family, it’s a feeling I like to have when I go out to eat.

The End of Fashion’s Seasons

The anti-seasons movement in fashion has been garnering steam for some time. And I’m not just talking about designers putting spring- and summer-appropriate looks (think bare legs and cut-out frocks) on fall runways. A steadily expanding roster of designers are starting to bypass the traditional seasonal structure that the industry has been abiding by for decades: specifically, showing a spring collection up to six months before it actually arrives in stores. Norma Kamali did it this past fashion week, as did Temperly London and BCBG — all of whom began selling a selection of SS10 looks simultaneously with their premiere on the catwalk. Now, Celine is hopping aboard the bandwagon.

Phoebe Philo’s debut collection (although, previously, she showed pre-spring sans an official presentation) for the French fashion house for SS10 is available now. Dover Street Market in London has built a special space dedicated to the launch: “Philo for Dover Street Market, will house the complete collection of ready to wear, shoes and accessories,” says the Telegraph. Considering the men’s wear-inspired collection was extraordinarily well-received, it’s likely to move out the door as quickly as it landed at Dover Street. Meanwhile, Project Runway alumnae Christian Siriano has “released a line exclusively sold on his website, with six limited edition pieces all under $200.” While the collection doesn’t include looks from Siriano’s critically acclaimed SS10 presentation, the line in question was inspired by that particular collection “which had models walking on water in seafaring colors and swaths of oceanic prints,” says Luxist. In essence, Siriano is taking the concept one step further: “by creating high-quality, affordable pieces taken from his same runway fabrications,” therefore appealing to shoppers on a tight budget as well as those who are simply impatient.