Fashion Designer Christian Siriano, season four winner of Bravo’s Project Runway, debuted his first-ever shoe collection with Payless Shoes on the runway at his ready-to-wear show at New York Fashion Week in February. After receiving praise for his first stand-alone collection for Spring 2009 at last September’s shows, Siriano is expanding with the Christian Siriano for Payless designer label, a footwear and handbag collection designed to complement his RTW line.
“This is the first shoe collection I’ve designed and Payless has been fabulous,” said Christian Siriano. “It was really incredible to have no limitation in shapes, materials or details. This is the way I think when designing my ready-to-wear pieces — from a completely blank canvas. I can’t wait to see the shoes on the runway!”
Christian Siriano’s footwear became a hit before it even hot the runway. Celebrities starting wearing them even before they walked down the runway at his Fall 2009 show. Siriano translated the 7-inch stunners into modified versions practical for the everyday woman, who cannot sport sky high stilettos all day. The Payless shoes are modified to make them more wearable, but they are very similar to the runway versions seen in the Spring. Siriano designed the runway shoes with Payless, so we can expect the same dramatic details in the retail version that aren’t 7 inches high for drama.
Each of the five shoe styles — with creative names like Slither, Saunter, SheDevil, Sand Strap and Strut — feature Christian’s unique chunky conical heel designed to look like an inverted pyramid. Handbags — the Shanbag tote and Sassafras clutch — coordinate with the footwear silhouettes: two ankle booties and three hidden platform pumps, with accents of pyramid studs and draped chains. Rich materials such as shiny dark brown snakeskin and Egyptian hieroglyphic teal fabric also echo Christian’s Egyptian inspiration.
Inspiration for the collection came from Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. The color palette reflects her influence with browns the shade of sand and the blue of the Nile. The detailing also comes from Egypt which includes pyramid zipper pulls and a blue hieroglyphic-like pattern. Even the curved, conical heel is an inverted pyramid. Also, the snakeskin-like fabric is totally Egypt.
Christian Siriano’s Fall ’09 RTW collection takes its inspiration from the natural beauty of the Egyptian landscape. The golden tones of the desert and the pyramids are brought to life in the form of sculptural, but feminine sportswear. Sophisticated with a touch of drama, silhouettes featuring rich teal and turquoise recall the waters of the Nile.
Since his Project Runway fame, Siriano has gone on to build his label, Christian Siriano, with a strong celebrity following including Victoria Beckham, Anne Hathaway, Heidi Klum, Becki Newton and Vanessa Williams, among others.
Siriano dressed Whoopi Goldberg in an ensemble he created for her to wear as host of the 2008 Tony Awards. Also, he designed outfits for Becki Newton and Vanessa Williams to wear on Ugly Betty, and created several outfits for singer Estelle’s album release, as part of a special design project with Puma. Christian is designing a full couture collection to appear in the upcoming film Eloise in Paris, starring Uma Thurman, slated to film in 2009. In September 2008 Christian showed his Spring 2009 collection at New York Fashion Week. Echoing his comment last spring that Christian is “his generation’s Marc Jacobs,” Tim Gunn told Newsday that Christian’s spring collection is “staggering… I’m extremely proud of him. What I saw today represents four or five years of evolution, not four or five months. He really is the next great American fashion designer, I’m confident of it.”
Christian’s first collection for Payless debuted on the runway at New York Fashion week in February and will be available at select Payless stores and on Payless.com in Fall 2009. All the shoes will be priced below $50.