NEW YORK — Aided by the outrageous high-jinks of comedienne Leslie Jones, Christian Siriano got a jump start on New York Fashion Week with an glittery display of his fall 2020 collection before hightailing it to Los Angeles for the Oscars.
The popular designer with a large celebrity clientele normally shows his collection on a Saturday afternoon but moved this one up to Thursday night — before the official start of fashion week — so he could get to the West Coast to dress clients for Sunday night’s Academy Awards.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the show had a Hollywood theme based on the new all-female superhero movie, Birds of Prey. Giant hands and other props from the film set were flown in as a backdrop for Siriano’s punk-tinged collection. The DC Comics movie starring Margot Robbie as popular super-villian Harley Quinn opened in theaters Friday.
The new collection has a darker, much edgier feel than Siriano’s previous efforts. Models appeared in form-fitting shiny black-and-gold dresses and suits, with matching oversized wide-brimmed “Joker” hats and leather chokers. Many of them sported Harley Quinn-like rainbow-streaked hair, heavy black mascara, and black heart-shaped beauty marks as they walked the runway to a soundtrack of heavy metal music.
Occasionally, Siriano threw in a demure-looking jersey gown for his clients who don’t want to resemble a deranged superhero, but otherwise showcased such unconventional attire as latex-looking evening gowns, black-and-gold striped pantsuits and a shiny tuxedo jacket with tails, and a lacquered hot pink crop top bralet paired with a long shiny skirt featuring a thigh-high slit.
A pioneer in dressing women of all shapes and sizes, Siriano again featured a number of curvy models, including Candice Huffine, in body-hugging dresses, along with a few muscular men in sparkly tank tops and black cargo pants.
To close the show, several models in sculpted gowns with boxy hips and exaggerated shoulders appeared on the runway. In a bit of performance art, model Coco Rocha contorted her body to showcase her attention-getting gown, much to the delight of the front-row crowd, which included Houstonians Jane and Larry Wagner, pop artist Ashley Longshore, TV personality Heidi Klum and Jones, who jumped our of her seat several times and kept an often over-the-top running commentary.
“Girl, I want to look like you one day,” Jones screamed at one model. When the comedienne spotted another model in a black-and-gold pantsuit similar to the one she was wearing, Jones hollered, “She’s got my suit on!”
And when Rocha walked by, Jones couldn’t contain herself. “Yass Coco! Yass baby!” she screamed as she leapt to her feet. “Show ’em how it’s done, baby! Show ’em how it’s done, baby! Yass! Yaas! Yass Coco! Yass!”
The emotion seemed genuine, but by the end of the show, Klum and the other celebrities surrounding Jones looked exhausted. Even so, Jones seemed unfazed as she nonchalantly headed backstage to offer congratulations to Siriano.