Christian Siriano: darks, cuts, embellishments

A green hue backing the catwalk brightens and a model takes a step out. She’s dressed all in black. The double breasted jacket she wears, no matter how flawless its tailoring, stands not a hope in hell of gaining your attention when paired, as it is, with a sheer chiffon skirt. Say what you like about reality TV stars, this one knows how to open a show.

And like so many of the catwalks before it at New York fashion week today, Christian Siriano’s autumn / fall 2011 offering opened with black, continued with black and followed up with black. Well, not entirely. Add to the black a charcoal and the odd deep mauve and moss green, and you have a colour palette decidedly wintery and one shared and interpreted by many a designer for the coming season.

But what the collection lacks in colour it makes up for in cuts and texture. If a piece doesn’t reveal a thigh then it likely to sport a fabric embellishment. And each piece does so with out being overtly sexual and, often, without being overly glamourised. I use ‘often’ carefully for this is a collection staccatoed with the odd piece that simply begs to hit a red carpet.

And there in lies something of a conundrum for the collection. From the front row to the back it looks fantastic in person and it’s hard to spot any short cuts taken in cut or fabrication, if any exist at all. Yet when set against the pieces from Siriano’s collaboration with Payless it almost seems as if pieces are taken down a notch. This is particularly true when pieces from the clothing line are styled with the Payless / Siriano handbags, whose gold hardware is too obviously faux. Pair the same piece with a different handbag or clutch, however, and that problem disappears.

All our pictures from Christian Siriano‘s autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 catwalk showing, including detail shots, can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the complete gallery.