Christian Siriano has evolved from that fashion wunderkind with lots of potential to a confirmed fashion innovator who consistently has his pulse of what consumers want and where fashion is heading. He has also learned how to incorporate very retail viable garments with other pieces that stretch the proverbial fashion envelope, a very daunting task to say the least.
This season Siriano looked to a dream trip to the Congo for inspiration. “The deep, dark and mysterious creatures from the Congo Jungle in the Central African Republic were my main source of inspiration for my fall collection. I was drawn to the home of the silverback gorilla along with other exotic and exquisite creatures … I wanted the collection to feel elegant, powerful, bold but still romantic for the Christian Siriano woman this season,” explained Siriano in liner notes for his fall 2015 show.
Siriano realized this dream trip to the Congo in sleek, burnout wool textured dresses; bold animal-printed jacquard coats, and liquid panther-like velvet evening look. Long evening dressed incorporated bold patterns of plant life and jungle flora that keep popping up as oversized palm-printed taffetas and bright citrus embroideries, as well as appliques from the African tulip tree and splashes of color reminiscent of the Heliconia plant.
As with any collection, Siriano fails to disappoint; however, in this outing there were some looks that were overwrought and not flattering to the feminine silhouette. Siriano’s cropped top looks—leopard jacquard sleeveless cropped blouse and metallic zebra cropped blouse—particularly out of step with the direction of this collection. And Siriano’s two bronze metallic looks—bronze metallic knit sleeveless high-neck dress and bronze metallic knit long-sleeve tunic with wide-leg pant—seemed slightly out of place.
Still, there were stunning standouts that more than make up for a few missteps. Standouts being Siriano’s tiger wool cashmere leaf collar coat, leopard jacquard and tulle overlay gown, off-the-shoulder-cropped blouse with ostrich feather tea-length evening skirt (the crop top worked with look), and African floral taffeta drop-waist ball gown.
Overall, the collection was stunning and a unique combination of familiar silhouettes updated for mass appeal and whimsically thought-provoking, transporters viewers to mysterious, tropical locations without alienating the tried-and-true Siriano fan. And isn’t that what fashion is supposed to; inspire, provoke, transport and make you want to dig a little deeper in your pocket.
Kudos Christian; keep up the fantastic work!!
—William S. Gooch