The designer focused particularly on Ashley Longshore’s work, which is rooted in whimsy and female empowerment.
There are dozens of artist-designer collaborations where artworks are merely xeroxed onto garments. This was not the case in Christian Siriano‘s Spring 2020 collection, which he debuted at Gotham Hall on Saturday afternoon. His latest offering was heavily inspired by artist Ashley Longshore, who also participated in the show itself.
The artist was the first to grace the runway with a palette of fresh paint. Having become an avatar of pop feminism to thousands of followers, she made her way to the center of the room, where giant canvases bearing cartoon-like images of accomplished women — Frida Kahlo, Lady Gaga and Kate Moss among them — stood tall as bold testaments to female empowerment. Longshore then got to work, outlining details on the women’s clothing, which happened to be pieces from the collection that were simultaneously going down the runway on models.
Siriano muse Coco Rocha strutting out in a seafoam, shimmering, asymmetrical-hem dress worn over pants set the tone for what followed: a vibrant take on eveningwear. With a color palette of sparkly aqua, sage, electric green, mint, fuchsia and marigold, Siriano punctuated jumpsuits with extra puffy sleeves and black gowns with cascading trains. There was also a biker-style short paired with a balloon-sleeve top that was given a fancy boost by a ground-grazing cape. The downside here was the fabric, which did not look as fancy. Aside from adding volume to standard silhouettes, the designer played with movement by adding sequined fringe to slip dresses and flare trousers.
Jeff Koons and his surrealist art influenced the latter half of the show: Hints of absurdity could be found in the dramatic eye prints seen on a portrait collar blazer and on a series of dresses and tops made entirely out of metallic red lip cut-outs. But nothing was quite as absurd as the amount of tulle Siriano managed to put on one garment. The final look — a watercolor palette gown made from the frothy material — nearly knocked Longshore over as she completed her final brush strokes. It was one of those go-big-or-go-home dresses that Siriano does best, and one that’s destined for a red carpet.
See every look from the collection in the gallery below.