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Christian Siriano is back with his third official runway show outside of Project Runway, and from the looks of crowd and the designs, he has matured from squealy reality show winner to legit designer.
True, he's still showing the same sort of style that made him a Project Runway winner, but there was something more hard and direct about this collection. The feeling was sharp and very sophisticated, as tailored party dresses with only a hint of a flounce walked down the runway. There was much black and leather (even a crocodile jacket), and only a hint of a chevron pattern on the opening looks.
We found ourself anxiously awaiting the showstopper finale dresses, and they didn't disappoint. Much of the volume and construction that Siriano so loved in past collections was replaced with flowy, lighterweight looks, like a few long formal trapeze dresses. And then the fuchsia finale gown walked?no, rather it floated?down the runway, a structured bodice that exploded in a cascade of ruffles and the longest train on a Siriano dress yet.
And what to say about the shoes? Baroque heels which nearly broke model's ankles; the booties with inverted heels seems especially precarious. We highly doubt that Payless will be able to replicate the designs, aside from a knee-high boot with cut-outs around foot. Rendered in a snakeskin-stamped pleather, we can totally see it hitting the shelves next season.
There was also a more grown-up audience, since most of the Project Runway fanatics have gone on to crashing other PR designer's shows, and left Christian with the actual buyers, journalists and celebs of an established designer. Sure, Kanye's girlfriend Amber Rose was there and looking stunning in one of his S/S 2010 designs, complete with the clawed-heel shoes. And America's Next Top Model alum Caridee strutted in her Rihanna-ish hairdo, sporting a Siriano jacket, but there wasn't so much a fuss over them as there was over the final looks in the show; there was applause and there was much appreciative nodding in the front row.
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