The baroque ballroom of the fabled Plaza Hotel seemed the perfect place for Christian Siriano to debut his fall 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week because his opulent designs fit right in with the lush surroundings.
Amid the gold-leaf walls and bronze balconies, Siriano presented a collection of shiny copper metallics, luxe velvets, and brocades in shades of clay, mauve and desert rose. He said he was inspired by the dusty shades of the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, which he visited on vacation, and, indeed, the colors resembled layered formations of the magnificent park at sunset.
But what really caught the eye of spectators was Sirano's utilitization of models outside the norm of the wafer-thin body types usually seen on the runway. The designer has been a champion of showcasing plus-size models and in this show, he sent out so many curvy models that I lost count after nine.
That's a dramatic shift from the way fashion week existed a decade ago, when models were always skinny, bordering on anorexic, and usually Caucasian. Now, models of color and various sizes are more common on the runway, and for that the industry should be applauded.
The use of more voluptuous models seems to have a positive effect on Siriano's collection, which will be available in Houston exclusively at Elizabeth Anthony. His designs for the thinner models tends to be overly embellished, with silver tassels dangling from a dress or odd metallic doo dads extending from an evening gown. But the looks for the larger models are pared down, with body-hugging stretch fabrics that accentuate the figure in all the right ways.
To emphasize his message, Siriano sent one model in a long pink skirt with a thigh-high slit and a black T-shirt with the words "People Are People." The T-shirt, which was designed by Siriano's husband Brad Walsh, has sold out on Siriano's website but is available online at Leggo Your Ego. It retails for $25 and all proceeds benefit the ACLU.