Amidst the Guccis, Versaces and Tom Fords on the red carpet, Christian Siriano has been a constant, shining presence. Since emerging on the highly-competitive fashion scene in 2008 after winning Project Runway, Christian, 32, has managed to carve a niche for himself by amassing a wide swath of fans, which include celebrity clients like Canadian model Coco Rocha and Mad Men star Christina Hendricks as well as regular customers thanks to collaborations with brands like Lane Bryant.
Christian’s success can be explained by his lack of snobbery when it comes to fashion: he can just as easily create a shoe for Payless as he can put an A-lister in a glamorous gown. He’s also become a champion of diversity and inclusivity, dressing stars like Saturday Night Live's Leslie Jones for the Emmys after she complained that some designers refused to dress her.
Now, he’s celebrating a decade in fashion with a coffee-table book, Dresses to Dream About, which features his most memorable work. In Toronto recently to celebrate the launch of his new book, Christian sat down with Hello! to reflect on how far he’s come.
Christian, what are some lessons you've learned in your decade of fashion?
A million things! I stopped listening to a lot of people that were offering their advice and things like that, and I started focusing on what was really working for us, my world, my brand. We stopped listening to the noise and we just made things that I wanted to make.
What have been some of your career highlights?
I love seeing women on the street that I’ve never met, just wearing the clothes. That’s the best thing. Wearing the clothes, wearing the bag, the shoes, whatever it is. Those are my favourite moments.
Who are some of the biggest stars you've dressed?
I dressed Micelle Obama, Julianne Moore, and Oprah, and Celine Dion was such a big one. It’s like, when you were a young kid and you wanted to dress Angelina Jolie, and you get to dress her. It’s pretty great!
What was it like dressing Celine Dion for the red carpet?
That was such a major red-carpet moment. What was so great about that dress was that that was in my pre-fall collection and her stylist Law Roach is a good friend, who I’ve been working with for a long time. He pulled it and the next day he was like, "she’s confirmed she’s wearing it." There was just no drama, so easy.
She just loved the colour so much. She was really lovely and gave me a nice quote about the dress. She also thought that it was nice because it was sexy, but she was fully covered, which is also very special, different.
How would you dress Meghan Markle? What kind of outfit do you see her in?
Wait, who’s Meghan Markle again? I’m blanking.
Oh Meghan, oh my god!
Everyone has been envisioning how they would picture her!
Oh my god, I have no idea. I need to see what she’s worn more. But I would like a big princess moment, just because I think her “thing” is fairytale. She’s kind of just this girl that he fell in love with, so I think that would be nice. A big amazing beautiful ball gown and maybe she changes into a party dress!