Siriano Marks 15 Years in Business with Sia Singing and a Sparkling Ballet Fantasy

The Christian Siriano collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in New York. (AP)
The Christian Siriano collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in New York. (AP)
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Siriano Marks 15 Years in Business with Sia Singing and a Sparkling Ballet Fantasy

The Christian Siriano collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in New York. (AP)
The Christian Siriano collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in New York. (AP)

Christian Siriano marked 15 years in business Friday with Sia performing on his runway and a nostalgic, ballet-inspired fantasy on his models during New York Fashion Week.

“I feel really proud of everything we’ve done,” he told The Associated Press backstage. “All the amazing people we’ve dressed and helped feel confident about themselves.”

It wouldn’t be a Siriano milestone without longtime muse Coco Rocha sashaying down the runway in something dramatic. This time, it was at a luxury New York landmark hotel, The Pierre, and this time, she wore a frothy pink ballet gown adorned with multicolored paillettes as her hair swung freely and Sia peeked out from behind a huge white wig topped with a pink bow.

And it wouldn’t be a Siriano show without a starry front row. Janet Jackson, Quinta Brunson, Kesha, Rosie Perez, Laura Linney and Avril Lavigne were among his guests.

In a way, Siriano went back to his roots. Among his earliest inspirations was his sister, who was a ballet dancer. He rolled out leotard- and tutu-inspired touches and a dose of strong black to go with a range of sparklers, from gold-and-copper ombre in ballgowns and suits to huge champagne-colored sleeves and necks on sleek and mini party frocks.

“It’s a very ballet, ballerina-inspired collection, kind of like where I grew up,” Siriano said. “Me and my sister backstage in costumes, hair and makeup, seeing all the black warm ups and then into this sugar plum fairy dream world. That’s what I wanted to show, the restrictive dark side of ballet into the really magical fantasy world, which is kind of what I fell in love with in clothes, actually.”

He also wanted something for everyone, including his plus-size customers represented by the plus-size models he has embraced for years.

“I still love the fantasy,” Siriano said, “which I think is why I love doing a show. Maybe I wouldn’t do a show if it wasn’t exciting and fantasy for me. It’s a lot of money to just put some jeans and a T-shirt down the runway.”



Olympics Are Coming to the Capital of Fashion. Expect Uniforms Befitting a Paris Runway

FILE - Olympic athlete in BMX racing, Kamren Larsen, models the Team USA Paris Olympics opening ceremony uniform at Ralph Lauren headquarters on Monday, June 17, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - Olympic athlete in BMX racing, Kamren Larsen, models the Team USA Paris Olympics opening ceremony uniform at Ralph Lauren headquarters on Monday, June 17, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
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Olympics Are Coming to the Capital of Fashion. Expect Uniforms Befitting a Paris Runway

FILE - Olympic athlete in BMX racing, Kamren Larsen, models the Team USA Paris Olympics opening ceremony uniform at Ralph Lauren headquarters on Monday, June 17, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - Olympic athlete in BMX racing, Kamren Larsen, models the Team USA Paris Olympics opening ceremony uniform at Ralph Lauren headquarters on Monday, June 17, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Sure, they call it the City of Light. But Paris is also the City of Fashion, one of most influential fashion capitals of the world for decades, no, centuries (remember Louis XIV?)
So it’s no surprise that fashion designers across the globe are busy getting their national team uniforms ready for their unique spotlight. When it comes to high-end Olympic fashion — be it for festive opening ceremonies, or for competition — all runways lead to Paris, The Associated Press reported.
Stella Jean will be there, styling each of Haiti’s dozen or so athletes herself. Jean, an Italian-Haitian designer based in Rome, figures she has exactly two seconds, on opening ceremony night, to make an impression on the world — an impression that may reverberate for years. “For these athletes, it’s a victory just to be here,” says Jean, whose vivid, colorful design is intended to highlight the cultural vitality of the Caribbean nation.
On the other end of the size (and budget) spectrum is Ralph Lauren, who will outfit hundreds of athletes of the US team at opening and closing ceremonies, for the ninth time. Lauren, who's presenting a casual look of blue jeans and blazers, is of course one of the world’s richest designers, along with Giorgio Armani, who has been designing Italy’s uniforms since 2012.
Countless other designers have gotten involved — including, this year, more young, “indie” labels eager to make a splash. It’s also a chance to emphasize qualities such as sustainability in fashion and adaptability, too, as in designs for the Paralympics.
“Designers and manufacturers now realize this can be a huge platform for them, for many things,” says Alison Brown, who co-hosts a podcast on all things Olympics, “Keep the Flame Alive.” For example: “Sustainability is a huge buzzword now for this whole Olympics,” she says.
And so is style — because, well, Paris.
“You always want to represent your country, and you want to represent the athletes. But it seems like this time, the pressure to do it well has been turned up a notch,” Brown says.
Some emerging details on various uniform designs:
Canada: A focus on inclusivity, adaptability During the design process, the team from Lululemon, outfitting Canada’s athletes for the second time, says they listened carefully to the athletes, and how they felt in the clothes. “When you feel your best, you perform your best,” says Audrey Reilly, creative director for Team Canada at the athletic apparel company.
She recalls listening to Alison Levine, a Paralympian who uses a wheelchair, and learning the athlete had nothing suitable to train in — so she wore medical scrubs.
“I was shocked that a professional athlete had to do that,” Reilly said in an interview. So we said, “Let’s investigate.” One result was a “seated carpenter pant,” part of a collection intended to be inclusive and adaptable. Other features include special closures to facilitate putting on and taking off garments, and pockets at the knees so an athlete like Levine can access her phone when training.
The collection covers all aspects of Team Canada’s journey, from travel to the games, to opening and medal ceremonies, to training — everything except competition. To combat the expected searing Paris heat, Lululemon, which has a four-Games deal with the team, paid special attention to ventilation and wicking.
And for opening ceremonies, designers created what they call a “tapestry of pride.” Hand-drawn and engineered into the fabric, it includes 10 animals — nine representing the provinces of Canada and one representing France. “We wanted to evoke all of Canada, coast to coast and north to south,” Reilly says.
Haiti: “They know their bodies are a flag” Stella Jean is used to designing beautiful clothes. But beauty for beauty’s sake was not a consideration in her designs for Haiti’s team. It was all about the message.
“This will be the first good news coming out of Haiti in at least the last three years,” she says, the athletes' appearance a counter-message to news about political turmoil, poverty or natural disasters. “So, I felt the responsibility to say as much as I can about the country."
For that, Jean is collaborating with Haitian artist Philippe Dodard, whose vibrant painting will be incorporated into the ceremonial uniforms — a brightly hued skirt for women and pants for men, paired with traditional items like a chambray shirt. The designs have been constructed from “leftover” fabric — sustainability, yes, but not because it is trendy, says Jean, but because in Haiti it’s both a tradition and a necessity.
Jean calls the Haitian athletes “ambassadors.”
“These ambassadors will be there, in Paris,” she says, "and they all know, even if they are very, very young, how important their presence is — and that it’s not just about performance. They know their bodies are a flag."
USA: “Nothing says America like blue jeans” For the last summer games in steamy Tokyo, Ralph Lauren outfitted athletes with something cool — literally — a technology that directed heat away through a fan device at the back of the neck.
For steamy Paris, he’s introducing another type of cool: good old American jeans.
“Nothing says America like blue jeans, especially when we’re in Paris,” said David Lauren, the label’s chief branding and innovation officer and the founder’s son, upon revealing the design in June.
For its ninth turn dressing Team USA for opening and closing ceremonies, Ralph Lauren says it will be fitting each athlete personally. For the opening ceremony they’ll be wearing tailored navy blazers with blue-and-white striped Oxford shirts — and those blue jeans.
For the closing ceremony, the team will wear white jeans with matching jackets in red, white and blue. Lauren called the closing ceremony looks “more graphic, more fun, a little more exciting.”
India: Mixing old and new Indian designer Tarun Tahiliani is known for his ability to meld traditional elements with a modern sensibility. And that's what he and his menswear brand Tasva has tried to do for his country’s Olympic team.
Tahiliani told GQ India that when he began doing research for India’s opening ceremony uniform, he noted a trend of countries incorporating their national flags into the design. So he began working on a design featuring the tricolor hues of saffron, white and green.
For men, Tahiliani began with a kurta, the typical Asian long and loose shirt. He paired that with a bundi, or traditional sleeveless jacket. He told the magazine he wears a bundi every day, inspired by his father, who was an admiral in the Indian navy.
After feedback from the Olympic committee, the designer moved away from a uniform-like look for women, opting for a sari, which he says “can flatter any body type, and that’s exactly what we want for our female athletes.”
All the designs incorporate embroidery of saffron and green. “The goal is to create outfits that empower our athletes to represent India with pride and confidence,” Tahiliani said.
Italy: A mix of elegance and tradition Italian athletes will be elegantly attired in Emporio Armani uniforms, as they have for every Olympics since 2012.
The podium tracksuit is emblazoned with “W Italia,” shorthand for “Eviva Italia,” or, “Long live Italy.” The motto could extend to designer Giorgio Armani himself, who turned 90 on July 11.
“Seeking new solutions for the athlete’s kit, which must blend elegance with practicality, is always an exciting challenge for me,″ Armani said last year when the national kit was presented at the Spring-Summer 2024 runway show for the youthful and sporty Emporio Armani brand.
The athletes’ tracksuits are in Armani blue, which has long been the color of the designer’s daily uniform, either as a T-shirt or fine pullover.
Athletes will have no excuse for not knowing the national anthem: the beginning is printed inside the collar of the polo shirts, and the entire first verse is inside the jackets.
Britain: Four nations, not one The 60-year old British clothing brand Ben Sherman, known for its menswear, is creating Britain’s Olympic uniforms for the third time, and this year wants to remind the world that Britain is four nations, not one.
Its design for the opening and closing ceremonies “represents the unity and diversity of the UK, reflecting the rich tapestry of our nation’s identity.” says the label’s creative director, Mark Williams.
Williams described in an email his new four-nation floral motif, featuring a rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock, serving as “a nod to the unique identities and histories of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.”
Williams stresses the motif is not purely decorative, but meant to send a message of collaboration and unity. His floral motif appears is in colors of blue and red — on polo shirts, worn with a bomber jacket, and also on colorful socks, in a collaboration with the Happy Socks brand.
South Korea: Inspiration from a national symbol South Korea’s athletes will sport uniforms inspired by the country’s national “taegeuk” circular symbol, which occupies the center of its flag. The red-and-blue circle connotes harmony between the negative cosmic forces of the blue portion and the positive cosmic forces of the red.
The motifs on the North Face-branded uniforms also include one of the four black trigrams (groups of bars) from the flag’s corners, according to Youngone Outdoor Co., an official partner of the country’s Olympic committee which produces and distributes North Face clothing in South Korea. The trigram being used symbolizes water.
A uniform for medal ceremonies features a jacket depicting the indigo blue waters off the country’s east coast in an ink-wash painting style, a red belt and black pants, Youngone says.
Team Korea’s uniform for opening and closing ceremonies was designed by Musinsa Standard, a private-label brand run by South Korean online fashion store Musinsa. The all-light blue uniform includes a blazer, its lining engraved with traditional white and blue porcelain designs, a traditional-style belt and slacks.