NEW YORK -- If there were a best-view award at New York Fashion Week, Christian Siriano would win it. The sights outside the designer's runway show atop Rockefeller Center were hard to beat: The Empire State building, the Chrysler Building and other Manhattan landmarks, just as the sun began to set on a cold but clear Saturday.
As for the clothes, Siriano looked to the future — the far-off future — with a collection that had an outer-space feel, with shiny silver metallics and highly sculpted futuristic shapes.
Even the colors were galactic: "Pulsar purple," ''comet blue," ''eclipse black," ''astral plane ivory," ''asteroid gray," and "supernova silver."
Siriano himself was full of apologies as he came out for his post-show bow, telling the crowd "I'm so sorry!" for the late start — a result of congestion in elevators leading up to the venue, and lines snaking through the lobby at Rockefeller Center. He repeated the apologies throughout post-show interviews.
The celebrity guests didn't seem to mind too much: Debra Messing, Billy Porter and Mariska Hargitay whooped with admiration as some of Siriano's flamboyant designs came down the runway. Other celebs in attendance included actresses Christina Hendricks, Christina Ricci, Danielle Brooks, and Kelli Giddish.
"I'm thinking of futurism," Siriano said backstage about his theme, "and what do people think about that, what does futuristic mean to everybody else? So mine was if you had to live in a different realm, a different world, how would you dress, and what would your social calendar be like. What would inspire you?"
The designer is known for the diversity of his runway — racial diversity, and also size — and said he remained committed, "because that's who our customer is, that's our world, that's what's out there. So it doesn't make sense to not have that, all these different women. I think that was very important to highlight the range of beauty."
Plus-sized model Tess HolIiday, who attended the show, said Siriano was "size inclusive and he's one of the first designers to do it. He continuously not only shows up for our community, but puts on beautiful shows."
Siriano said he'd just finished taping his first season as mentor on "Project Runway," taking over from Tim Gunn, and working alongside supermodel Karlie Kloss.
"It was awesome," he said of returning to the reality show, which he won as a contestant in its fourth season. "I love working with Karlie. I think it's going to be really great." He said he'd be bringing his perspective as a working designer to the show's contestants.
"I treat them the same way I treat my staff, my team," he said. "Like, 'Do you like that fabric? Do you think that's right? I'm giving them advice the same way I would give my team advice."
Siriano was full of appreciation for the vocal support he gets from his celebrity guests.
"Sometimes fashion people can be a bit, you know, they're tired," he quipped, "so it's so nice to have (his celebrity fans) there to support me, because listen, they're wearing the clothes. So even if an editor hates the clothes, I'm like, 'Well that's fine, Debra Messing is nominated for a Golden Globe and I'm going to dress her! So for me, that's important. And I don't know why other people don't think it is."
AP video journalist Jill Dobson contributed to this report.