Christian Siriano is part of a new generation of multitasking designers—he sprung to fame thanks to Project Runway in 2008, launched a ready-to-wear line soon after now sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, collaborates with Payless on shoes, on jewelry with e-commerce site "Send the Trend," and recently designed a couture collection which will appear in the upcoming film Eloise in Paris. Now he has set his sights on dressing the everywoman with a new capsule collection of dresses designed in collaboration with catalog stalwart Spiegel. The line launches April 4, and prices will range between $49-$599.
“Spiegel came to me with this idea, and I thought, how great,” Siriano says. “I have so many friends, and there are so many women that I work with, who have three weddings next month, and such and such a party, and they need to look great on a budget.”
The collection has only been in the works six months according to Siriano."I never get these year long projects. They always seem to come up, and I say ok, let’s try it. One of my favorite dresses in the whole collection we made a week ago. That just happens, some of the best pieces come out at the end. If you work on a collection for two years, believe me, you are so over it. By then you don’t want to hear about it, you don’t want to see it. It’s more exciting this way.”
As for what it was like working on a wallet friendly line (his ready-to-wear dresses average around $2,000) Siriano says:
“I really didn’t sacrifice very much. The shapes are very me, the details are very me. It was a great learning experience because I got to work in a very different world from what I am used to. I had to design for all of these different types of women and that’s the challenge. These aren’t old silhouettes that I’ve revamped. I wanted to do something different with this line.”
Siriano points to a leopard jersey bias cut dress from the capsule collection. “This is one of my favorite pieces in the collection because it looks just as amazing on a size 2 as it does on a size 16,” he says.
The biggest challenge as Siriano dives into project (which may or may not continue down the road) is competing with all of the other designer collaborations on the market. “The hardest thing is really about being up to date and competitive with other brands that are doing this,” he says. “There is so much out there. You can shop all day. So the challenge is making something special and cool.”
As for how he does it all--Siriano just showed his sixth collection for his namesake label at Lincoln Center during fashion week and is bringing his collection to Paris for the first time this season--the designer says, “I try to catch my breath and relax. I don’t do much on the weekends. I’m pretty low-key and kind of boring.”