We caught up with designer, Christian Siriano, during his recent trip to Chicago to launch his new fragrance and help his best friend, Corri McFadden, celebrate her business eDrop-Off‘s 10th Anniversary.
Congratulations on your new fragrance, Silhouette! Since that’s what we’re celebrating tonight- What can you tell us about creating it?
It’s a long process to create a fragrance! So at the beginning we sat down are were like, what do we really want this to be? I realized I wanted it to be something that would still be wearable in 50 years, if we’re still in business. Then we came up with the name Silhouette because a woman’s silhouette lasts forever. We’re always celebrating a woman’s silhouette regardless of shape, size, or age.
What notes does Silhouette include?
It has everything from sandalwood to cassis, leafy greens, a little bit of vanilla, green apple, there’s a lot of different notes to it, which is interesting because when we were creating it I wasn’t sure they would all work together but they really do! I think there’s about 20-25 notes in it, and it’s very wearable, you can definitely wear it all day everyday. It’s not overpowering. It’s a little sweet and a little bit spicy, so you really get both bangs out of it- which is nice!
What was more challenging- Creating the perfect fragrance or the perfect bottle?
A little of both! The bottle was really fun! We wanted the whole cap to come off like the unveiling of a gown, and we wanted it to be really romantic looking, but it was definitely a challenge to get it to be exactly what we wanted. I love the ombre effect, that was really important with the color, and it was also important that it looked feminine.
Now that there’s a Christian Siriano fragrance, what’s next for your brand?
Who knows! I never know! It’s always changing and developing. We’re doing a soft launch with the fragrance right now, doing pop-up shops in different cities, and then when we partner with the retailer in the Spring it’s a whole new experience. Lots of things are always in the works, I’m on a new show, and we have eyewear coming out in a few weeks which is really exciting. I love working, and I love new projects!
I’m dying to get your opinion on this important fashion matter- Less is more? Or, more is more? You do both so well!
It just depends! There’s a time for a really great blouse and chic dresses, and then there’s a time for over-the-top evening. That’s the thing about fashion- there are no rules! Dress up or dress down. I always say though, it’s always better if you’re a little bit overdressed rather than under dressed. If you go to a party and you’re overdressed all anybody is saying is that you’re extra fabulous!
What’s been a moment in your career, other than winning Project Runway, when you thought I’ve really made it?
Project Runway really wasn’t that moment at all because I was so young! I didn’t know anything about the business. When I opened my first retail location in New York City that felt pretty iconic. It was quite a process to do, and it was amazing! I’ve gotten to dress some pretty great people which is always great, and when I got into the CFDA Awards that was also amazing. That’s not easy! So all those things combined have been pretty great.
We’ve seen people win reality TV competitions never to be heard from again, and we’ve seen runners up turn into mega superstars. What do you think is the secret to parlaying a run on reality TV into a successful career?
Reality competition is based on talent, but also not everybody’s personality meshes with the public. If we all liked everybody then we wouldn’t have our groups of friends. I think after the show for me I started a brand, I made clothes, I worked with retailers. I think maybe some of the other designers don’t do that. But look, it’s a really hard business, it’s super expensive to break into, it’s super competitive- you have to be TOUGH. You have to be really savvy. If I had said in 2008 that by now I’d be running a multimillion dollar business with collections around the world you would have never guessed! It is hard, and a lot of days it is not fun!
Let’s skip over this coming Chicago winter for a minute- What should we be adding to our closets come Spring?
We did a lot of really beautiful ice blues from our Spring collection that felt aquatic or arctic in a way, but still romantic. We did a lot of pieces with an embellished, crystallized feeling. Oh, and really crisp whites! I love a wardrobe of really crisp whites with creams and ivories- I think that’s just beautiful!
One more question- Is that the actual dress that Sarah Jessica Parker wore on the cover of Marie Claire?
Yes, it is!
[Photos By Hallie Duesenberg]