Christian Siriano hosts Lindsay Lohan at his Fall/Winter 2023 runway show
Audrey Hepburn brings to mind Holly Golightly and an avid animal lover. Gardens, not so much. In fact, the star of Breakfast at Tiffany's was quite fond of nature and its beautiful flowers. This tidbit was unearthed by designer Christian Siriano who found a little-known miniseries from 1993, "Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn," down a YouTube rabbit hole that influenced his Fall/Winter 2023 collection. It was shown off-calendar Thursday night at Gotham Hall in Manhattan, the opulent Neoclassical venue. The event space was strewn with extravagant floral displays‑complete with floral-shaped fragrance bottles on the seats—created the stage for the dramatic collection, which borrowed liberally from the film's subject and the legacy of the actresses' look in the classic Truman Capote tale.
Speaking of actresses, Siriano enlisted a few of his faves naturally wearing his clothes to sit front row, namely Lindsay Lohan, Julia Stiles, and buzzy Abbot Elementary star and creator Quinta Brunson. Lohan caused quite a stir as she hasn't been a NYFW fixture for years but also for her monochromatic head-to-toe look that matched her vibrant red locks. She was there to support siblings Ali and Dakota Lohan, who walked the show.
Backstage post-show, an exuberant Siriano told FashionNetwork.com he is following his passion. Compared to the late Oscar de la Renta—aka a New York-based designer dressing socials of their time—he wasn't so sure.
"I don't know; I just want to do what I love: evening and old Hollywood icons. I've always loved them, so I imagined what Audrey Hepburn would wear at 2 AM in this garden," he said, adding, "The socials here are a mix; I love dressing the Upper East Side, Tribeca, downtown, men, and women of all shapes, ages, and sizes," he gushed. Stumbling upon Hepburn's only television show was an inspirational unicorn. "It's kind of funny and quirky. I was like, 'is this real? I don't know if it is, but it's great'."
Great and quirky could also describe the show. Siriano's house muse, Coco Rocha, opened and closed the show with her signature vamping. She kicked off the theme in a black and white floral print pantsuit with a matching wide-brim hat; the hat reappeared in fabrics matching the clothes on most looks and was a nod to the hat worn by Holly Golightly. It was a daring millinery look for 2023 yet held anchored the equally bold and dramatic looks.
Floral brocades and jacquards in mainly magenta and black combos followed on pantsuits with gathered flare legs and cocktail dresses with poof hemlines, the latter especially paying homage to another Christian, Lacroix. Conversely, creative riffs on Holly's black dress appeared with three-dimensional ruffles, a body-skimming sheath with a tiered mermaid ruffle or sequin flare hem, or a bustier style with a drop-waist ball skirt.
Several looks stood out for their quiet sophistication; a cream one-shoulder blouse with black pants (also in gold lame); a reworked tuxedo jacket with long front panels worn with briefs as outerwear; a sheer tulle off-the-shoulder dress or a white slinky, draped two-piece halter and skirt look. A not-so-subtle black and white Victor/Victoria dress also intrigued.
Presuming fashion is a subjective exercise, some of the accouterments, colors, and fabrics bordered on camp and failed to deliver. A hot pink checkerboard fabric hung heavy on several looks. The faux furs were a little too faux. Rocha's finale look—a confection of black and pink tiers of tulle, lace with pleated shoulder details, and a fishtail skirt—lumbered along as she vamped as if the model was trudging through that muddy garden in the middle of the night.
If the point is something for everyone, then Siriano hit the mark. The designer's career began with a spotlight of celebrity, and he appeared at times to prefer the starring role. As his clothes and business have matured, it's clear he uses his designs to make stars of those who wear his creations.
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