Oscars 2016: How Designer Christian Siriano Creates His Red Carpet Gowns
The New York-based fashion designer walks us through the process.
— -- Nestled in New York City's Garment District is Christian Siriano's showroom. Just days after he sent his Fall 2016 collection down the runway, the fashion designer invited ABC News to his showroom as he prepares his red carpet looks for the Oscars.
The Maryland-born designer remained tight-lipped on which celebs he was dressing at the awards show this year.
"I'm superstitious. I don't want to jinx it," he said.
Singer and DJ Solange (who is also Beyonce's sister) wore his red long-sleeved asymmetrical dress on the red carpet last year.
Although Siriano, 30, said he can start designing a dress for the Academy Awards months in advance, he admitted that it usually comes together at the last minute.
"Solange got her outfit the day before, you just never know," he recalled.
Siriano's showroom is a gumbo mix of patterned furniture, prints, sequins, and lots and lots of tulle. Pairs of shoes, designed by the man himself, took their place on bookshelves, alongside magazines and vases filled with orchids.
The shelves also held the designer's smartphone cases, fragrances and luxury handbags, a reminder of how far Siriano has come since winning the third season of "Project Runway" in 2008.
The showroom was lined with racks of Siriano's latest collection -- printed metallic gray organza appeared to float on hangers alongside a lemon-lime array of shirts, pants, dresses and coats. Over-sized cable-thick scarfs that were once carefully wrapped around models' necks were now simply folded on tables inside the showroom.
So what does it take to get red carpet ready?
Siriano said it all starts with a conversation and a look around his showroom. Although he already had something in mind for me, the fashion designer said collaboration is key for getting a star's look perfect. For me, we both agree that sequins and drama are on the menu.
He sketched the look with a black pen in under five minutes on a thick piece of white stationary with his name embossed at the top in gold.
After taking my measurements, Siriano went to grab the look he had in mind. This is typically where his team would furiously create the red carpet look for the celebrity. According to the designer, "For the Oscars, we could make it pretty quickly."
With a little help, a dress from his Pre-Fall 2015 collection was placed on a mannequin in the center of the showroom. Siriano wanted to show off his handmade creation here first, before I put it on, so I could fully see the dress' detail with its "laser-cut chiffon petals" and sequin appliques.
"I like the fact that its voluminous but it still feels very ethereal, romantic, beautiful," he said of the black tulle floor-length gown.
I hurried into a changing room right off the showroom. Stepping into the gown was a task thanks to the dress' volume and pulling it up required effort. Oh, and zipping the dress? Well, Siriano had to help me.
With the dress on, I couldn't help but float over to the ornate over-sized mirror that was casually laid against a wall in his showroom. The mirror's posture was in contrast to how I felt -- more glamorous than ever.
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