NEW YORK – What is reality anymore?
Christian Siriano's New York Fashion Week runway Saturday was part space age, part centuries gone by and part in the moment with a special guest: Social media's star Italian greyhound Tika the Iggy.
In the bowels of the Empire State Building, on a bare concrete floor, Siriano rolled out his huge, signature ballgowns in a variety of colors and textures, including one in a gray tweed with a huge hood and another in shiny, steel blue with sleeves that formed spikes worthy of the Jetsons. Before that came a range of looks in the experimental collection he calls “Victorian Matrix.”
“I feel like that’s what we’ve been living in. Like, are we living in Victorian times? Are we living in this alternate world? Like, what is it? So I guess that’s kind of how I approached the collection,” he told The Associated Press. “I felt like I wanted it to be that kind of dream fantasy world. And hopefully we escape when we come underground, under the Empire State Building.”
His buyers would be prepared for escape in one of his long, cozy quilted coats in a blue and white swirl design. Others would be fleeing in baby-blue dresses or a brighter blue in a sheer ruffled pantsuit. Maybe they'd don his sheer black dotted off-shoulder corset dress with the structured ball skirt.
For fall-winter, there was plenty to choose from as the world sorts itself out, some outfits more wearer-friendly than others.
The “Project Runway” mentor and host who launched his eponymous womenswear brand in 2008 included a series of looks in a bold black and taupe check. There was a belled trouser outfit with a flouncy strapless top that would require a bold fashion confidence. He sent one model out in a mini dress version of the check with a huge round statement head topper that's as conspicuous as fashion gets.
His latest ballgown offerings also came in the check, one with a full skirt paired with a long-sleeve, midriff-baring top with a cutout back.
“The pandemic is ongoing and we can't seem to get away from it, so I can't help but question what our world will look like after,” Siriano said in his show notes. “What will happen to the fashion industry? And how will our customers shop?”
When they decide, Siriano will be ready with a soft pink corset with a ruffled neck he showed with a slinky cream skirt that skimmed the ground, kicking up dust as other looks did as his models took to the barren, underground catwalk.
Some of his guests cheered on his models as the show progressed. Hannah Waddingham of “Ted Lasso” fame, Susan Sarandon and Siriano mainstays Danielle Brooks (who wore him at her recent wedding) and Alicia Silverstone sat on his front row with Drew Barrymore and Candace Bushnell.
Thank goodness Iggy was on hand as therapy dog before Siriano put on this dream show. Waddingham posed for photos holding the tiny TikTok and Instagram star, a huge smile on her face.
This story has been updated to correct the name of the Christian Siriano’s Italian greyhound Tika the Iggy.