NEW YORK (AP) — Christian Siriano is going to the opera.
The "Project Runway" alum used the Russian opera as the inspiration for his fall runway show at New York Fashion Week, though he has never seen the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg in person.
He instead used a book of Russian opera houses as reference, and filled in the rest with his imagination.
"I didn't go there, so that's why it's all about the dream — my interpretation," Siriano said after the show on Saturday. The girl wearing this collection, he said, was on her way to see the Russian opera.
"I wanted it to be a story of what she wears during the day, what she'll wear for a cocktail dress, what she'll wear to the opera," he said.
His vintage-inspired day looks only hinted at the baroque architecture and romantic drama that Siriano is known for because, he said, he wanted them to represent the beginning of a deepening dream.
They evoke many eras, from the 1940s to the 1960s, and were mostly separates of turtlenecks paired with loose leather trousers and faux fur vests in muted colors such as white, black and camel.
One ensemble included a pointed-toe flat in a penny loafer style, a surprise inclusion given fashion's love for the high heel. Siriano explained it as a way to ensure its wearability, and also because he "wanted it to be a bit more demure, a bit simple."
It was a smart commercial move, given that the collection's shoes will be sold at the budget footwear Payless Shoes and a variety of heel heights will likely sell better.
Other shoes in the collection ran toward the more baroque architecture that Siriano likes, with some looking a bit like "jewelry," he said. They were bootie heels and heeled penny loafers with gold trim, echoing the filigree that anchored many of the evening dresses that closed the show.
The metallic trim was a nod to the interiors of the Mariinsky Theater, Siriano said.
"I like mixing stuff that's gold or opulent or from the 1800s with something that's maybe '20s or '40s," he said, a reference to the slim skirt shapes and knee-length skirts from his day looks.
"It's about how you bring them together," he said. "That's what we tried to do here today."