Not only does Christian Siriano know how to dress women of all sizes, he knows how to do it with respect.
Siriano’s career began on Project Runway in 2008 and since then he has dressed everyone from Rihanna to Christina Hendricks to Solange Knowles. His Spring 2018 ready-to-wear collection at New York Fashion Week included plus size models.
While (of course) there wasn’t exactly a model who I could look at and think “That’s me!” he certainly celebrates more than one plus size body type through his clients and on his social media. Representation of plus size women still has a long way to go in high fashion. For a start, designers need to actually start catering to that demographic and then begin to show them on the runway.
I like to think of Siriano as an ally to not only celebrities that are being refused dresses by fatphobic designers, but also the average woman who are unable to picture themselves in the gowns seen on red carpets. By dressing these women, Siriano is showing an attitude which is taboo amongst a massive amount of designers. The problem is many high fashion magazines and designers can see plus size women as a social statement, as “in vogue” or an accessory for a fashion shoot and choose to represent us in a way we’re not always comfortable with. Siriano has never used us in an exploitative way. That is where the respect comes from. He believes we deserve better and isn’t scared to show that through his clothing.
My favourite thing about Christian Siriano is I look at his designs, whether it’s on a mannequin, Christina Hendricks or a size 4 model: I can see myself in his clothes. I will never look at his designs and think “This will never be me” or “I don’t exist in this scenario”. He see’s beauty in everyone and represents that through the way he dresses them.
Can I just point out too, he knows what women want. The above dress has pockets. POCKETS. This guy is a genius incorporating pockets into a huge ombre-pink skirt and it’s still high fashion.
Danielle Brooks has become a force to be reckoned with in terms of fashion and bopo campaigns. She is a close friend of Siriano’s and I truly feel that her association with him cements his body positive point-of-view.
I think one of the reasons I adore his designs and himself so much is because he doesn’t treat the occurrence of a plus size woman on a runway as “unusual” or “different”. He knows that we have always belonged there and that his designs transcend size, shape, race and age.
I’m crossing my fingers that Christian Siriano does a high street collab and produces some affordable clothes in a massive range of sizes. He has got the potential to become one of the first international plus size, high fashion designers.