Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Christian Siriano wins Project Runway

He’d be the first to tell you that he’s “sew faaabulous.” And the Project Runway judges agree. Pint-sized Christian Siriano, 22, of Annapolis, Md., and Bird of Paradise hairdo fame, who is equal parts peacock, personality and talent, won the Bravo TV hit show, beating Rami Kashou and our hometown gal Jillian Lewis.

“If I didn’t win, what would I do?” Christian said.

More importantl, what would we do if "fierce" didn't return to our vocabulary. Siriano turned the word into a household adjective.

“I didn’t plan for that. I have no money, no job, and I needed it more than I wanted it.”

Christian, the youngest winner in the show's four seasons, put out a stunning final collection presented during Fashion Week at Bryant Park in February. Signature stylings included piles of ruffles, sculptured jackets, and the piece de resistance . . . a dress of feathers.

“I was out to win, so every look was a look,” said Siriano emphatically. He plans on showing his own label, Christian V. Siriano, during Fashion Week at Bryant Park next season.

Judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, were joined by guest judge Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, who thought Siriano’s collection was best. “It made me smile, and it takes a lot to make me smile,” the famously stone-faced Beckham told Siriano.

It was Beckham who “tipped the scale,” in Christian’s favor, according to design mentor Tim Gunn. “I thought Christian and Jillian were neck and neck. Then Victoria said, ‘That collection is me.’”

Even if preaching to the choir helped him win it, Gunn says the kid’s got talent. “He’s the only fashion prodigy I’ve ever encountered.”

Garcia, Elle Magazine’s fashion director, said, “The choice was clear. Christian’s fierce and fearless. He’s got that creative energy and that’s very important especially at his age.”

Christians scores $100,000 seed money, a 2008 Saturn Astra (red -- he deemed it “fierce,”), a spread in Elle Magazine and a chance to sell his line on

Jillian, who seemed slightly shell-shocked when she was “aufed” first by show host Heidi Klum, said, “I just felt really bad for my boyfriend and my family who were really hoping and praying for so long.” But she adds that the experience “launched my career and allowed people to be aware that I’m a designer with talent and vision.”

At the end, as Kashou and Siriano waited for final judgment, tears welled up in Siriano’s eyes and his lip trembled. But his trademark bravado shortly returned. Upon exiting the runway a winner, he imperiously waved a hand at Posh Spice and said, simply, “We’ll be in touch.”

- Anne Bratskeir

Watch their Fashion Week collections
Christian Siriano
Rami Kashou
Jillian Lewis


RS said...

At 21 - Christian is definitely brilliant and FIERCE! There's this great opportunity for other young and fierce designers to win $10K - Signature Style Challenge at! You can upload photos/sketches/scans of your designs, describe them, and win $10,000!

Good Opportunity to make big. Deadline is March 31!

Anonymous said...

I am an average person, ahd I thought Christian'c line was horrible. Jullian ia a much better designer. The only people who would wear Christians line are people like Victoria Beckam, not normal, everyday people. And if all the judges love his weird style of clothing, why is it that they dress like normal people on the show instead of the styles Christian designed. Face it it is not about who is the most talented....there are other agendas more important here.

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