Siriano brings art to the runway in glittery pop-art party

JILL DOBSON and JOCELYN NOVECK

NEW YORK (AP) — Fashion lovers argue that it's not only a business but also a true art, and Christian Siriano made that argument in a literal way on Saturday by bringing an actual artist to his runway, putting the finishing touches on her paintings as models strutted by.

Artist Ashley Longshore went from canvas to canvas, picking up paintbrushes to add color and detail to paintings of powerful women like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, actress Laverne Cox, supermodel Coco Rocha and others.

His runway, as always an inclusive environment featuring models of all shapes, sizes and genders, was filled with color, notably shimmering greens and yellows. The show ended with a display of rainbow-themed garments, as in a huge belted rainbow coat in metallic lame, with giant balloon sleeves.

As always, Siriano did not hold back on the glam factor, with long ruffled trains, billowing sleeves and sequins on dresses, skirts and pants, and even a sprinkling of angel wings.

Before the show, Siriano spoke to the inclusivity of his runway.

"I have customers from all walks of life, and I think that's what I try to do in this collection," he said. "We have something for everyone in a way." He said his focus was still on glamorous eveningwear — his bread and butter, after all — but added that he also wanted to throw in some "great pieces for someone that wants to go out to dinner."

His front row was packed as usual with famous faces, including '90s actresses like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lucy Liu and Alicia Silverstone.

The '90s, he said, was "kind of like my coming of age," a time when he learned about fashion and style. "I'd rather have every actress and musician in my front row that anyone else," he said.

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