As the pandemic continues, New York Fashion Week made the decision to go fully digital for their Fall 2021 shows. In meaning, shows will be streamed for everyone to view from comfort of their humble abodes. Christian Siriano is the latest designer to hold a Fall/Winter 2021 show attended by a small, exclusive guest list including our very own EIC Claire Sulmers. It is no secret that the ongoing global pandemic has shook the fashion world to its core, shuttering timeless brands and leaving those still standing searching for inspiration and creativity in design. Christian Siriano’s Fall/Winter 2021 show came at the perfect time, showing us that fashion is still fun yet dream-like even in the midst of a global crisis.

Designer Christian Siriano shares: “This year has been so up and down, it’s been difficult to figure out what I wanted to create this season. In a pandemic, it’s hard to stay inspired in general, so I decided to dream up another world…one that doesn’t exist anywhere but in my mind.

Recently, Siriano took a trip to Aspen, Colorado to visit family, making this the first time seeing his relatives in a year. However, sometimes a change of environment is all you need to find inspiration and that’s exactly what happened with Siriano.

He expresses: “I was really inspired by this idea of a psychedelic alternate reality. A dream world up high into the mountains where an almost colony-like world exists.”

Christian Siriano ultimately turned his pyschdelic dream into a runway reality. Kicking off the show, models Coco Rocha, Martha Hunt, Candice Huffine and Teddy Quinlivan rose from mattresses which had been placed in four corners outside of the runway. Courtesy of Beautyrest, the mattresses were used to symbolize Siriano’s dream-like feels as well as prove “it’s always fashionable to be well-rested”. The models “got ready for the day” in the designer’s Fall 2021 pieces and proceeded to strut down the runway, setting the tone for the show.

Siriano further describes the Fall 2021 collection: “This collection is a reflection of what I think fashion would be in this fantasy world, and how my customers would decide to dress. I envisioned hidden parties and cocktail hours in the mountains, with people wrapped in cashmere wool coats and vibrant silky evening dresses. The unbelievable sunset overlooking vast landscapes inspired a sun drenched pink and orange color palette, balanced with snow ivory creams and rich chocolate browns. I hope this collection shows that fashion remains a powerful dreamlike world that can be actual reality if we let it happen, despite the circumstances.”

As we all know, fashion has been one of the biggest contributors to pollution of the planet and many have been urging the industry to consciously adjust its ways. For this collection, Siriano made the decision to incorporate thrifted garments in his runway show which were supplied by the resale company thredUP. This made Siriano the first to ever send thrift clothing down the runway in New York Fashion Week history. Siriano made this bold choice in hopes of inspiring the fashion industry to be more sustainable and conscious of the environment. He believes that “thrift is one of the best ways to reduce fashion waste, extend the life of clothes, and keep garments out of landfills.

While Christian Siriano tackles many areas including sustainability, the main thing takeaway from this show was: dreams can become reality. Each garment feels like a party, cocktail hour or any other excuse to get dressed up, things we use to enjoy prior to the pandemic. While the pieces make us long for these moments again, it shows that these moments might not be far from happening again with hope. All in all, Siriano shows that our dreams of partying and getting dressed up in your fanciest threads can be a reality. Even during the times we’re in, you make the best out of those moments with what you have.

Explore more moments from the Christian Siriano show and backstage below:

Claire Sulmers
Leigh Lezark
Yvette Williams

Photos: Getty / Mike Coppola / Jamie McCarthy / Leandro Justen / Sara Kerens