A certain sector of experienced showgoers might have been shocked by the mob scene at Christian Siriano. The "hot tranny mess" reality guy? Yes, him. And while today's crowd, assembled to see the Project Runway winner's fifth collection, likely owed its bulk to fans and fashion tourists, it also included Saks Fifth Avenue president Ron Frasch and Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing. Both stores carry Siriano's collection. There's clearly something about the designer. "Women are very excited about him," Downing said after the show. "They definitely know who he is."
Siriano explained his Spring inspiration as a mélange of various cultures from places he hasn't been; "A bit of African, a bit of Asian, a bit of Mediterranean-Greek," he said backstage. The vague references had vague execution—an abstracted Indian temple print here, a croc-patterned brocade safari suit there. For the most part, the clothes were a catchall attempt at sophistication and glamour. But apart from the designer's personality, there isn't much of a sartorial story to tell. Siriano's clothes generally don't propose any fresh thinking about fashion or the way women should dress. And when they do, there's an air of the ridiculous. You could allow the draped gown half-swallowed in a nimbus cloud of ruffles as a showpiece, but not the printed suit with an asymmetrical ruffle that juts straight out for half a foot. There is something about Christian, and that can't be discounted. But it would be nice to see him shore up the goodwill and fame with clothes that can stand on their own.