There are few certainties at Fashion Week, but in recent years Christian Siriano doing a show with a capital S is one of them. The location will be to be grand; celebrities will be to be in the front row; bold patterns will be walking; and there will be be enough dresses to outfit an entire black tie wedding. Spring 2023 followed this formula: At Elizabeth Taylor’s former townhouse in Midtown, guests including Janet Jackson watched models like Karen Elson slowly descend the spiral staircase adorned with XXL wide-brimmed hats. and dresses with long trains.
Siriano was one of the first designers to return to this vision of glamor after the onset of the pandemic. Nostalgia is as strong a guideline in her work as waistline inclusivity and bubble skirts. But the location really pushed that idea home this season. Siriano thought of old Hollywood and its icons. “When Elizabeth Taylor’s old townhouse becomes available, you make it happen,” he said. “We really wanted to channel the couture of Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn and ask what is the modern Marilyn, the modern Bianca Jagger?”
While Siriano has been in a back-to-opulence mood since hosting a masked parade outside Connecticut in the fall of 2020, he says his client is now fully caught up. “Our evening wear has taken on a massive scale. We can’t do it fast enough.
So he gave people what they wanted. The show opened with a series of bespoke suits, which Siriano now makes in sizes up to a 32. One in slate gray with a wide waist-cinching belt was particularly stylish. The drama came in full force with a blood-red evening gown featuring a puffy peplum (which became a Siriano signature) and sheer torso and skirt, along with a hat that mirrored the waist detail. It’s hard to imagine Marlene Dietrich or Marilyn Monroe wearing it, but it fits perfectly into the designer’s work.
Detention remains Siriano’s friend. The little black dresses – usually the most routine – stood out. One was a low-rise number with a bubble-hem tulle skirt and floral appliqué; another was a sleeveless square-neck midi with a voluminous, asymmetrical hem. Both seemed to be inspired by the other Hepburn (Audrey) but were rooted in the present. A dress with a black velvet bodice and lively striped skirt was also directional and felt like a change from the more expected mountainous skirts, tulle puffs and feathers.