By the time two burly security guards opened the doors of Artbeam Studios on the West Side of Manhattan, it was seven minutes before models were scheduled to walk down the runway at Christian Siriano’s Spring 2017 fashion show.
This year’s theme was evident from the thick card stock invitation sent weeks earlier: “Isle of Capri.” The designer said he was inspired after seeing Settimio Garritano’s photos of former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis while she vacationed on the Italian island.
After getting a seating assignment from a helpful publicist, dressed in black, devotees of the “Project Runway” winner were ushered into a large room anchored by three sets of bleachers.
Some lucky attendees found their names glued onto their seat, coupled with a rundown of the show. Others would have to watch from the wings.
Hovering over the fashion photographers, bloggers and even reality television show cameras were blue and orange beach umbrellas. Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” could be heard playing as a purple-haired Kelly Osbourne walked in with her dog, who eventually sat respectfully on her lap. Next to her would be Siriano’s husband Brad Walsh and a couple seats down, Pamela Anderson.
Thanks to the amazing women for coming to support my show. ❤️ you! #ChristinaHendricks @pamfoundation #NeveCampbell pic.twitter.com/YQJcrhoJFx
It was 4:32 p.m. when the flurry of cameras were ushered away and the protective brown paper rolled away to reveal a Boardwalk-style runway in tones of teal and orange and white. Six minutes later, the lights went down and the first model strutted out onstage.
Siriano is consistent, creating eye-catching garments that celebrate a woman’s curves instead of hiding them. And although all of the looks would give many fashion critics and bloggers something to delight in, it wasn’t until Sabina Karlsson, wearing a teal form-fitting dress with double cut-outs and double high slits, walked out onto the catwalk that a light applause erupted.
These ladies rocked our runway and I love them! Long black and Turq dress available now on https://t.co/px6NQ0IgSZ! pic.twitter.com/9lF6obJQ7I
That was because Karlsson would be the first of five full-figured models to take the stage that afternoon. She’d eventually be joined by Precious Lee, Marquita Pring, Alessandra Garcia Lorido and Georgia Pratt.
It makes perfect sense for the designer who recently dressed “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones after the actress complained no designers would dress her for her film premiere last month.
Fourteen minutes later, as Solange’s “Losing You” played overhead, it was all over. As the models took their final walks around the catwalk, Siriano barely made it from behind backstage, with the tiniest of waves, before he turned back around to retreat backstage.