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Ripping the Collections: Christian, Part 1


Princess, come on down! You're the next contestant on The Price is Right!

Kittens, this is going to be tough. We laughed when we uploaded all the pictures for this post and realized we'd essentially be discussing the same outfit over and over again. Which isn't to say that we don't love the collection or that we don't think he deserved the win. We do on both accounts. It's just that, while he gets an A+ on the cohesion front, he didn't exactly wow us with his range.

But as we said when discussing Jillian's collection, there are a lot of ways to look at a collection and "range" isn't necessarily at the top of the list, even if the PR judges sometimes place too much importance on it.

So no, there's not a lot of range - especially in these first six looks - instead, Christian demonstrated vision and point of view in a strong and highly dramatic fashion.

As for styling, he put his girls in very dramatic makeup and severe hair and gave them absolutely fabulous shoes to wear.

Let's start the show.


A very strong opening look and - shock! no puffysleeves! Instead he paired a very tight, body-hugging top with a full, soft skirt. A complete reversal of the typical Christian silhouette and yet, it still looks like Christian. Nicely done - and we love the hat.


This is closer to what we've come to expect from him. Full top, big sleeves, big belt, skinny pants. The fabric in the top is gorgeous and expensive-looking and even though this is the Siriano silhouette personified, the proportions are nicely toned down. Chic and very British-looking.


Um...ditto? Sure, there are some differences between this and the previous look, but they're mostly just a matter of scale. Same silhouette, same all-black scheme, just slightly less exuberant. We do love the neck ruffle, though.


This is positively minimalist for Christian. Again, he's working in roughly the same silhouette, but he's playing with proportions. Because this is such a scaled-down look in comparison to the others, it's probably the weakest in the collection.


Okay, puff out the sleeves more, make the collar bigger and shrink the peplum. Voila! Fresh and new!

Despite the similarities, we do like the look, especially the sheer sleeves.


Thank GOD. A new silhouette!

That coat is TO DIE. Gorgeous construction, beautiful proportions and just fabulous and chic.

Thankfully, the second half of the collection has more diversity to it and gives us more to talk about in Part 2.

More up close pictures here:

[Photos: WireImage/Getty Images/Elle.com - Slideshow: Projectrungay.blogspot.com]


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82 comments:

**yawn** They do all look the same and that was the first thought I had when I saw the first half of Christian's collection walk down the runway. My favorite in this collection is the ombre dress, actually..its the only one I really liked. I'm not really a ruffly-puffy kinda gal. Love the shoes, though! Kara


if by chic you mean westwood, then yeah.


I guess with such a strong and uniform point of view, a woman would need only one Christian Siriano in her wardrobe.

Which is probably just as well, because those clothes are going to be verrrrrry expensive.


Except for the first look (perhaps), wouldn't these looks work for a guy . . . with a little tweaking?


I liked most of the clothes that Christian produced during the course of the program, but I don't love this collection. When I first saw the thumbnails I thought the first look was Chris's.
1. I don't like the wide brim hat with a cocktail/evening dress, and the workmanship and fit on the top is a little sloppy. BTW it does have a gathered sleeve cap, just not as full as usual.
2./3.The second two I thought were the same outfit. The silhouette is just way to similar.
4. This one is probably the most wearable. It is cute.
5. It is cute as are 2 and 3, but the placket is a little wonky.
6. This jacket and hat just look so overwhelming to me. It would swallow Posh.
I agree with The Neighbors, you just need one and you will probably only wear it once.


another laura

The second half got better because he at least introduced something other than black black black.

I saw a pic in the NY Times from Alexander McQueen's latest collection and guess what? Looked just like look number 3 - or was it 4? 2? Sorry, this half of the show was a big zzzz

As I think we're all saying, good luck, Christian, but as many of us are saying, won't be looking to buy it. As if he cares, because if you don't like his stuff, you're just not fierce, ferosh and/or fabulous.


Black. Black. Black. Black. Black. Black.

Blech.

Could you see this stuff in any other color? I wish he'd tried some deep greens and blues (but no Rami colors), or at least some non-black accents.

What's up with the super-long exposed zipper in the 3rd look? The crotch on those pants is insane!


Anonymous said...
Except for the first look (perhaps), wouldn't these looks work for a guy . . . with a little tweaking?


The trousers would be okay for a guy, just don't go commando. Remember the scene in "Something About Mary".


I LOVED every single look, they were amazing. I had no problem with too much black because it works perfectly. Christian has said that they had to be black because of the volume, style, proportions, etc. They would not have worked in any other color.

Great commentary TLo! Thanks!

Christos


All I can think of is that great Laura Bennett quote about Angela from Season 3: "giant extravaganza of puff."


GORGEOUS collection! I can't believe he made all that with one sewing machine in a tiny little space.


FashionFanatic

Say what you want, but this collection is fabulous. And guess what? Black is back and VERY in right now. If Galliano had designed it everyone would be all over it. The guy is a genius!!! Great commentary, guys.


FashionFanatic

By the way, the shoes are to die for. He definitely had the best shoes, followed by Jillian's. Thank you for the up-close shots.


Christian is tres, tres talented, but i have to admit that i got bored with the same silhouette & color coming down the runway. there is a fine line between "cohesion" & everything looking the same. i realize that there are some awesome pieces in the 2nd half, but i still can't get past the sameness of everthing so far. although i agree he probably deserved the win, i was disappointed in his collection for that reason.

i will say, tho that seeing the little video of him talking about finally getting a real bed (instead of a mat) with some of his winnings really tugged at my heartstrings. if ever anyone really needed the money, it is christian, and he certainly has the talent to back up the win.


I know a lot has been said about Christian winning because Victoria Beckham was judging but I think Christian was Exactly What They Were Looking For in terms of a winner and he would have walked away with the title no matter who the celebrity judge was. Young, exceptionally talented AND a personality that landed him a caricature on SNL.

I do remember sitting there watching the runway show thinking "well, I just saw 5 variations of the same outfit walk down that runway....but it still looks like 5 amazingly stylish looks that make me wish I were a size 0".

I echo Rami's sentiment and that is Christian has a lot to learn when it comes to dressing women and not models.

I am NOT impressed however with his lack of professionalism (calling Jay a scumbag, no matter how you slice it, was uncalled for)and still think he has LOTS of growing up to do. Seems like he comes from a pretty solid family who I hope will keep him grounded.


embeedubya, if I am not mistaken that was the "full tilt BOOGIE extravaganza of puff"....one of the BEST an my most FAVORITE PR lines evah!!!


FashionFanatic said...
Say what you want, but this collection is fabulous. And guess what? Black is back and VERY in right now. If Galliano had designed it everyone would be all over it.


That is very true FashionFanatic, he did win, though. I feel like if Chris (and I was not a Chris fan)and shown this collection he would have been skewered for showing costumes.


I do the love the coat, and if I were 6' and model thin, I'd wear it in a sec. I'm 5'8", and I still don't think I'm tall enough to carry it.

The black fabrics he used were gorg, but I really didi like the cream pieces so much better. I'm wondering if the cream neck ruffle that Tim thought was a skirt would like the black skirt on the first look? TLO, you boys saw this in person, can you elaborate?

Reen31


I do the love the coat, and if I were 6' and model thin, I'd wear it in a sec. I'm 5'8", and I still don't think I'm tall enough to carry it.

The black fabrics he used were gorg, but I really didi like the cream pieces so much better. I'm wondering if the cream neck ruffle that Tim thought was a skirt would like the black skirt on the first look? TLO, you boys saw this in person, can you elaborate?

Reen31


""I do remember sitting there watching the runway show thinking "well, I just saw 5 variations of the same outfit walk down that runway....but it still looks like 5 amazingly stylish looks that make me wish I were a size 0"".

Well, I am a size 0 and I DO think alot of his looks would make me look fat. lol, with the exception of the skinny pants, of course. Those big ruffles and poofs would add some lbs, which is probably why he kept the looks 'black', any other color would've looked bigger to the eye.

Kara


OMG, I am going to stop eating immediately so that I can wear these designs - I just LOVE the whole collection! I wear mostly black at least twice a week, doesn't everyone? You really could wear those outfits almost anywhere. My favorite is the one with the big cream ruffly collar (in part two of the collection.) That look is just timeless. Really, the whole collection is.

- Alisons


I thought the first look was a great start to the show. The "minimalist" jacket looks very wearable--huzzah! I HATE those damn shoes with that first outfit. They're not good with a skirt, not even on a long-legged gal like that.


Although I like how dramatic the shapes are I was very disappointed to see one black look after another. Makes it hard to see the detail... not to mention it just looks depressing after a while. Is princess afraid of colors or what?


I thought he managed to create a range of effects within the same basic silouette. Maybe that's what he was going for in this first half?


I actually really love the third look, and I offer it up to those who claim's Christian's collection was unwearable. *I* could wear that, and I'm five foot one. Love the construction of the sleeves and the same rich fabric for the jacket and the pants.

The only real problem I have with all this is, yeah...too much black. I think if he'd mixed it up a bit more color-wise, the scales would be tipped more toward "cohesive" than "monotonous."


Initially, I felt some negativity about the first half and all the blackness, but now that I've had a chance to scrutinize the photos, I feel more like, for the Princess, texture was the equivalent of color variation here. And that makes me appreciate more what he was trying to do, and even like it. Granted, it feels like a more narrow range of variation, to play with texture rather than color, but I get it. That said, if he doesn't expand the colors and silhouettes in the next couple of years, I'll be disappointed, but for now, I'm getting it.


Sorry, I meant I really liked the fourth look. No, it's not because they all look the same! LOL. It's because I scrolled down without counting carefully enough.


I appreciate the artistry but don't love it. Give me a splash of color - a red belt, a blue lining, anything!

At first glance, it looks to me like a bunch of people on their way to an Anne Rice convention.


Sewing Siren said...
The trousers would be okay for a guy, just don't go commando. Remember the scene in "Something About Mary".


Aha, many painful memories of very sharp teeth thanks to a very crafty Aunt. Back in the 70s those zippers were fierce!


I'm really at a loss to explain Christian's win other than foregone conclusion. It's just a lot of the same poufy poufy black. The only look I really love in the whole collection is the coffee/cream vertical ruffle thing, because that actually WAS original.

He's a charming person, and if they want to give him the win for that, that's their lookout, but I'm sorry, this says 3rd place to me.


I'm with TWC...that exposed zipper in look #3 is super distracting and makes the look very crotch-centric.

And I'll echo the choir: not my favorite collection because it was nearly devoid of color, range and wearability. That's three big dings, in my mind.


"I wear mostly black at least twice a week, doesn't everyone?"

Sigh. Anyone who a) assumes everyone does something or b) wonders if anyone else thinks something is really too young to be using teh interwebs unsupervised, I don't care how many years you've lived.

In the close-ups, you can see that the black fabrics have some lovely textures. Michael Kors was right about losing detail in the sea of black. If they had been in a lighter color, it would have been easier to see the variations in structure and texture, and he might not have been slammed so hard for being repetitive.

I, too, hate the shoes with the first look. Blech.


another laura

Why did I think more of this?

http://www.bbcprograms.com/pbs/catalog/blackadder/images/0203_Blackadder.jpg


I was happy for Christian's win, although I preferred Jillian's collection. If I remember correctly (and I haven't sewn clothing for years, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong (and I know that you will)) puffy, pleated, gathered sleeves are much easier to set in than unpuffy, unpleated, ungathered sleeves. They require much less precision in cutting and sewing.


another laura

Oh, here I was trying to be all funny and it didn't print the whole thing:

http://www.bbcprograms.com/pbs/
catalog/blackadder/images/
0203_Blackadder.jpg


I didn't like the crotch-zippers, they were distracting. But I LOVED the first look and I thought he did a good job translating his signature look into a powerful statement. I think that's what was missing from Jillian's-- a signature statement.


If the first look (cocktail dress) was yellow, it would be the fabulous Laura Bennett's Woodstock dress for the Peanuts show she did...Aside from that, on this half, I call Zoolander! Ferrari, LeTigre, Blue Steel with a dash of Magnum in there. ;)


Definitely yes on the Blackadder too. ;)


I agree with Christian that these looks only work in black. The one he does later in ivory has a whole different look and feel (and is less successful in ivory). For me, there was just too much repetition, not only in the collection but what he'd done before. If a collection isn't about range, why does Nina keep harping about it?

I'll be very interested to see which looks of Christians's were purchased by Bergdorf's, Barneys, and Jeffery's and how they modify these looks for production. On the runway, they're dramatic. Wearing any of them (except the sliimmed down silhouette) and walking into a restaurant or a club or wherever these outfits are supposed to be worn would just cause people to stare then start laughing, even in Manhattan, because they're so 'My Fair Lady' on top and so 'Three Musketeers' on the bottom. That's not costume? Sorry, Christian, but Cecil Beaton called and he wants his hats back.

And as always, Bill's comment cracked me up.


Christian is greatly talented. One of my favorites the entire season.
I still just do not think his collection was the winner, and TLO point out some of the reasons why here.

The 1st look I do not like at all. Looks cheap and like a witches costume - out of the play "Wicked". Christian can do better and he does.

The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th (omg so funny...I'm seeing what TLO means!) are great and nice to see some of the details in the close-ups.
I do think it's all the same silhouette. Not smart for a small 12 piece presentation and on top of that all black. This is just all too safe in my opinion for the win.

I'm not going to talk about the pants in he 6th look - it's the same thing as the others. The 6th coat however is fantastic and very carved-out looking. I love that, similar to what I love about Rami's draped looks - creates depth, shadow and sculpture. I will say that this coats is equally heavy if not more that Rami's. I was surprised Tim said that about Rami's coat and not this obviously heavy coat as well - and in yes black again.

I'm also not a fan of the hats - and too many of them at that.


I thought the collection was beautiful. I prefer black. BUT...it is incredibly hard to see detail, depth, texture, etc. on black on black clothing. I know it is television...black clothing just comes off as flat on TV. And in pictures...was it this way on the runway? I would like to appreciate his work. I just can't see it!


Hotchickenbakooti,
There are some "back stage" Black and white pictures on his website that are very good for seeing the details. Also some of the pieces are paired in a more interesting ways . I think its ChristianVSiriano.com, but I'm not sure.


bill I love you! An Anne Rice convention! Dear Lord that's wonderful.

Very derivative of McQueen/Westwood. But then, virtually all fashion is derivative of someone else at this point. And it is well-made.

But I'm with those of you who think Chris March would have been filleted for sending these outfits down the runway.


another laura - you are so right! Black Adder all the way.


You boys are right, that coat is TO DIE.

I loved every inch of the drama, depth, texture, poof, and detail of this collection. It was exactly what I expected him to do.


Okay, HOLD THE PHONE.

Bill, you and Ed are Hotties McHottiesons! Where can I get a man who would make me look that happy? Adorable.

And your store ... Darling!

(Sorry for the hi-jack. Please return to your regularly scheduled bitchery).


You guys forgot to mention a few things while you were orgasming over this collection. Sure, it's chic and cool and whatever, but it also has some major problems. First, the plain-ish jacket looks very raw around the hem, and the fabric is atrocious and impractical. The finishing on the sheer sleeved shirt looks horrendous, and the final coat, though GORGEOUS, is definitely have a lining issue, and some of the layers look a little misplaced and raw-edged. Could you please check that out?


I thought the collection was very chic, innovative and dramatic, and definitely very Christian.


Christian rocked the runway with his FIERCE collection!! I loved it from beginning to end. Christian's collection was, by far, the best of the three.


Hmmm....
I loved the skirt on the first dress, but the top was, well, fug. Serious ugly there. Wrestling-Diva goes-to-court-for-DUI-ugly.

The second and third looks were fab, the fourth was hohum at best, the fifth was fug except for the sleeves, and the coat was to die for.

Christian gets points for not doing low-rise pants, which I am heartily sick of at this point, but loses points for doing so damn many pants.


"I feel like if Chris (and I was not a Chris fan)and shown this collection he would have been skewered for showing costumes."

- sewing siren -- i couldn't agree with you more! these were every bit at costume-y as chris' stuff (wait till the 2nd part -- the feather dress????? gorgeous, but VERY costumey)

the judges just get certain images in their minds about the contestants and it's pretty difficult to break out of the mold. Oh well, princess is quite talented. at least i think he will make something of himself in the industry. but i also want to see more of jillian & chris.


Love the coat, and honestly, I liked the pared down jacket. I can't wear any of the others. And with the pared down jacket, I'd wear it with a pegged skirt rather than the skinny pants. Even when I was a size 4, I wasn't able to wear those kinds of pants.


I think I'd mind the endless sea of black (with a couple of ecru waves) if he'd shown he could use color during the competition. As it is, it makes me wonder if the lack of color was as much a choice as it was a way of avoiding risk. Color's a tricky element and not everyone has an eye for it--i.e. Rami's neutrals tended to better than his color pieces.

I've liked him in his post-show interviews and hope he doesn't get bogged down in being a personality. Less sniping at people like Ricky (that was really ugly) and more focus on his own work. He sounds a bit overwhelmed in the Advocate interview--nothing like having your big dreams actually come true.


I wish I could afford to purchase the third or the fourth outfit for my step-daughter. She's Burmese, dark skinned, slender, with fine black hair. These garments were made for someone like her, a completely real young woman, not a model. And she loves dressing in black. On her it doesn't look morose, it looks strong.

Christian composed his fashion show like a poem: a bold opening statement, followed by alliterative variations on the theme, followed by a stronger variation, then an antithetical statement, more and increasingly wilder variations and finally summation. His sense of structure served him very well on many levels. The black garments were repetitious for a reason. The repetition forces the viewer to look more closely at the details, the textures, the qualities of the fabrics from which they're made, to look for what makes each one subtly different. It was a suprisingly confident performance, especially from one so young.

Thanks for your commentary,
you guys know your stuff,
Dale Wittig.


Snooze. I like the Princess and I don't begrudge him the win at all, but ... too much damn black. I don't care how "in" it is, too much of it is boring.

Also, the first model should have been wearing a bra.


I have to admit I have developed a big star-struck crush on Christian. This is what I have been waiting for from Project Runway. His work was AMAZING!

I loved every piece. I loved that the collection was done in black, so that you could focus on details.

I loved how he took a silouette and played with it, to make variations.

I loved the use of the cream and brown tones to transition.

The umbray cocktail dress with the vertical ruffles was breathtaking.

That gown at the end was a work of art.

Every detail was thought out - the shoes, the accessories, the hats.

The collection flowed as a statement, like a well-written editorial piece. Started strong, continued to deliver, caught its breath for a moment, and then concluded with an explosion.

FIERCE!

I LOVE YOU CHRISTIAN!!


In Tim's Take on the penultimate episode, Tim related how the judges asked Rami and Chris who their customers were. Rami answered clearly and Chris didn't know. Tim pointed to this as the distinction between fashion and costume. In other words, fashion design is for a group of customers who will be reached through marketing, and costume design is something commissioned by a specific client for a specific reason. I don't know if this is a standard industry definition of the distinction, but it made me wonder if we were all misunderstanding all season when the judges or contestants referred to something as "costum-y". I think Christian really knows who his customers are. Fierce, fabulous, and flawless maybe?


I like Christian's collection even more now that I'm getting to see some of the images in detail. There may be lots o' black but when you really pay attention to the fabrics, the construction, there's really quite a bit of diversity in these pieces. The "minimalist" piece that the boys think is the weakest is actually quite interesting up close...it's subtle but interesting nonetheless and very refined. The judges were right that the black really obscures the details, even from the front row. If only I the finale had been high-def (and if only I had a HDTV!).


I finally claimed my blog name. Took me some time to figure it out.

Sorry Princess, I just do not like this collection. It doesn't do a darn thing for fanciful vivid me.
I'll use a quote from one of my favorite movie's The Birdcage "Well, one does need a splash of color."

I read a review where they called it "a funeral march."

Let's hear it for the boy however. Congratulations.


puff sleeves after puff sleeves after puff sleeves. oh and not to mention the skinny jeans too... =)


I love that little boy.


I agree with dennish 7:41 == I also love how he purposely used white models for the black clothes and black models for the non-white clothes. In fact, he was one of the few, if not only, who used minorities for this collection. Plus, the music was so incredible that went with this show. It got your attention and went superbly with the clothes. I love it -- Anyone know where to get it?


Anonymous said... Plus, the music was so incredible that went with this show. It got your attention and went superbly with the clothes. I love it -- Anyone know where to get it?

You can get it here. It's called "Control Me" and it was composed by his boyfriend, Brad Walsh.

T&L


Rami had an Asian model too. His last girl may be Latin or Middle Eastern as well.
So no Christian was not the only one who varied the girls.

The music Christian used was showy, but that doesn't mean he had the better collection.
Sad but true it does influence ones opinion (if you like it - I thought it was too clubish)


He put on a great show.

-- desertwind


I'm sure you've all seen this already, but still ... front page of e!online:

http://www.eonline.com/gossip/hum/index.jsp?#7ad9785d-b532-4866-ba09-aff50a7e5c7c


It's an explosion in a ruffle factory. Repetitive in both color and styling.


Interesting Posh fact:

"... her shoes are always too big because she gets catwalk samples and has to stuff them with tissues...."

April UK Vogue cover story.

http://www.vogue.co.uk/Video/player/?id=973&category=4

-- desertwind


Actually, it was Big Bird's funeral. And the editorial question this answered was "Which came first the chicken or the egg?" And since the brown and white egg came down the runway before the large chicken dress, you can see which way Christian answered this burning question.

DizzyD


i agree with dale. christian understands the composition of a show, and as he said the black was all "variation on a theme." if you look at most fashion shows they might have a dozen or more opening looks all in the same color/fabric. it's not repetitive if you know where to look. i think it's hard to see the variations, texture and detail on a tv screen.

for me, fashion shows are all about atmosphere. and christian's show was the only one i felt "took" me some place else. that's hard to do in 12 looks but he achieved it.


TLo said...
Anonymous said... Plus, the music was so incredible that went with this show. It got your attention and went superbly with the clothes. I love it -- Anyone know where to get it?

You can get it here. It's called "Control Me" and it was composed by his boyfriend, Brad Walsh.

T&L


It's more than a little "Art of Noise." I hear Beat Box.


Oh my! Was that really back in 1984!

http://www.youtube.com/v/TCyGdk23KNU&hl=en

Watch this clip, you almost expect Christian to pop up in the street scenes. His vibe is very 80s UK.


Wow, Christain and his boyfried look alike!!!

http://www.bradwalsh.com/photobrad.htm


black death realistic child fantasy boredom boredom boredom again money network push push time ... fail


I'm not unhappy that Christian won, but these looks didn't wow me and still don't except in execution. He certainly knows how to put on a show and save the most thrilling looks for the second half. The details are nice, but it's nothing different from what we saw from Christian throughout the season.

Rami answered clearly and Chris didn't know. Tim pointed to this as the distinction between fashion and costume. I think Chris just doesn't have the experience to know the answer to this. Watching Make Me a Supermodel (on Bravo) this past week's assignment was dark and gothy so obviously there is a market for darker clothing. I just don't think Chris is savvvy about marketing like Rami who is an industry veteran is.


It's a gorgeous collection, and for those saying 'I wouldn't wear it' not every designer is for everyone, we all have different tastes.


I continue to bitch and think you guys were asleep when you wrote this, but look at the pants on look 3. Bulge much?


If you look on Brad Walsh's Myspace page pix, on p.2 there's one of him with SweetP, and she looks HOT.

Agree that Christian and Brad look alike. So cute!


I wasn't crazy about the collection, but I thought it showed the best work, and some of the pieces were beautiful.


Christian's collection was my favorite, but it was far from perfect. I like the black and I like his jackets. All the ruffles I could do without. And a lot of his pieces were very similar. In the end, I'm glad he won, but I can see where there are issues.


"Sigh. Anyone who a) assumes everyone does something...."

Ironic much?

- Alisons


Of this section, I absolutely loved #4 and the jacket in #6.

I don't think enough can be said about how just how great his models were. They really elevated some of these pieces.





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