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September 20, 2020

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Christian Siriano puts on backyard show

CHRISTIAN Siriano, who turned his atelier into a mask-making machine, took to his Connecticut backyard on Thursday for a cozy fashion show complete with picnic baskets for his small in-person crowd, masks on the faces of his models and a dip in his pool for pregnant muse Coco Rocha.

“We just needed an escape,” he said after his cheery parade of ball gowns, prints that included panels from comic books and looks emblazoned in black and white with a simple message: “VOTE.”

For the rest of the fashion industry, Siriano livestreamed the show on a mild, sunny day, with his garden as backdrop and his grass as a runway.

It was a rare New York Fashion Week show to include physical guests, something he said both he and his clothes sorely required.

“I was scared people weren’t going to come all the way out here,” he said.

“I just felt like my clothes, they need to be seen, and I’ve been sitting at home depressed. Really, I just wanted to have some fun.”

Siriano’s spring-summer collection, not quite as expansive as usual, was inspired in part by some of the things he’s been doing in quarantine, watching movies that he loved as a child, reading old comic books and painting and sketching in the home he moved into in April.

His comic books became gray and black cartoon panes on a trouser and jacket set. Rocha took her dip in a tight red gown with a train after she and the other models walked Siriano’s lawn in a circle wearing spiky heels. One fell, but she gracefully righted herself with a smile on her face.

Like so many others in fashion, the pandemic hasn’t been easy for Siriano business wise. He quickly converted his operations to making masks for essential workers (about a million so far) after the pandemic hit, but he had to furlough workers and close a store.

So how has he survived in quarantine?

“Staying in this house, and just trying to create,” Siriano said.

“Doing this, honestly, is what got me through it. I was sketching every day, just trying to play around.”


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