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It’s “Paris, Je T’Aime” At Christian Siriano’s Fall 2010 Runway Show

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Project Runwayalum Christian Siriano has learned quite a bit about how to stage a tantalizing runway show: teasing audiences with an intriguing first look, then introducing color and textural themes, moving from one phase to the next and building up the “wow” factor with each transition. But unlike previous collections featuring a handful of experimental designs, Siriano is steadily moving towards wearable garments, introducing more separates like tweed or satin skirts, silk wool trousers, cashmere jackets, wool coats, silk organza blouses. Oddly enough for a flashier designer like Siriano, many of the pieces introduced for Fall 2010 were black, gray, or royal blue pieces, with only a handful of colorful garments (mainly a jewel-toned fuchsia hue). But while black doesn’t tend to translate well on the runway, Siriano’s experimentation with different textures and materials made his darker color palette way more palatable and savory. Also fascinating was the way he manged to evoke a definitive mood, taking a cue from the ultra feminine, 50s-era designs by Givenchy and Balenciaga and translating those for a modern consumer. Some looks were a bit more Belle Epoque-centric, some more reminiscent of the film noir style, and some poised for a starring role in a French version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes — but they all had that Parisian flair, that romantic whimsy.

Siriano’s ability to display such a dark and moody color palette was largely predicated by his manipulation of different materials and his genius at integrating various textures into any one look. A black organza shift dress featured elaborate beading along the high neck and shoulders, recalling one of Kidman’s diamond-crusted ensembles in Moulin Rouge!. A sheer silk chiffon blouse with a metallic shimmer was paired with a viscose pencil skirt, creating a contrast between light and dark, matte and shimmer, thick and lightweight. A gray chevron wool swing coat with broad, smoky diagonal stripes recalled smoke-filled cafes in Paris, and looked impeccably chic (and more academia-ready) when paired with a wool skirt and cotton raglan sleeve oxford shirt.

As the show progressed, more and more red-carpet ready dresses emerged: from a playful fuchsia satin faced organza draped cocktail dress with a side bow-like loop to a slate organza multi-tiered gown. Like with his past two collections, Siriano opened and closed his Fall 2010 show with the magnetizing Dominican model Sessilee Lopez who comandeers the runway so completely that she practically doubles as the embodiment of an exclamation point. And, of course, there was the big, splashy, applause-worthy finale: a strapless, floor-length fuchsia dress with a draped bodice, perfectly sculpted so as to hug the torso, and a scalloped tulle skirt with a dramatic train. When Lopez sauntered down the runway in the final look, you could hear a collective “oooh” inside the Promenade at Bryant Park, as onlookers leaned forward in their seats for a closer look at the carefully constructed, show-stopping dress.

Take a look at this snippet of the show!

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