Glasses have come a long way from the days of metal "Urkel" frames. In today's market, eyewear can be equally as chic as it is functional. Not only have the actual frame designs transformed, but so have the enhancements such as eyewear chains and wait for it ... transition lenses. That's right, transition lenses are getting a much-needed upgrade, and at the forefront of this movement stands a fashion trailblazer, who never leaves home without his fashionable spectacles: Christian Siriano.
For his latest collaboration, the designer teamed up with eyewear brand Transitions Optical. Inspired by the brand's color-changing lenses, Siriano decided to pair them with frames in his Resort 2019 collection. "I’ve been wearing glasses my whole life so it was very personal too," Siriano told The Lookbook of the collaboration. "I love companies that are trying to do new things and make something that people need a little more fashionable and a little more exciting. It has literally changed my whole life because now I only need to wear one pair of glasses and I can go outside and it’s fine."
The Lookbook got the chance to check out his chic eyewear along with his new resort designs up close and personal at his NYC boutique and showroom, The Curated. There, we chatted with Siriano about what it's like to dress celebrities such as Cardi B, his thoughts on the fashion industry today, and more. Read our interview below.
(The Curated in NYC.)
You've always been a strong advocate for cultural and size diversity in the fashion industry. Do you see the industry going in a more positive, inclusive direction?
Christian Siriano: You know, it’s crazy out there. Fashion has definitely changed over the last couple of years. I think I'm helping hopefully change the perspective of what’s beautiful or what’s fabulous or who should be wearing what. I think there are no rules. If you love a dress, you should be able to wear a dress. I don’t care where you come from, what you are, age, style — who cares. I think that that’s a very important thing that our culture needs, too. I can’t imagine somebody not being able to find a piece in a collection that they love and want to wear because of what they are or what size they are. And I think it’s changing a lot. Also, because of the world of social media and what’s happening people have a voice more than ever, which is awesome.
(Christian Siriano Resort 2019 Collection)
Why do you believe that there still is such a lack of size inclusivity amongst high fashion designers?
I honestly have no idea! Who knows? It’s really a pickle 'cause you know, it’s such a great part of the business. Who wants to alienate a customer? I mean, we’re all here to buy clothes and wear clothes and look fabulous. I never understood that so I don’t know. But I think more and more are coming around and they’ll figure it out soon.
What advice would you give to fellow fashion designers looking to expand their size range?
My advice is really don’t approach it as such a big deal. Just make your collections and offer it in a lot of sizes. It’s just not hard, it really isn’t. The process of making the clothes might be different because obviously, yes, if you have a size two bust to a size 20 bust, it is factually different, of course. But there are ways to make it work for everything.
Your shows are always groundbreaking — what can we expect this upcoming New York Fashion Week?
We show spring 2019, which is exciting. It's like this Italian holiday kind of feel. It’s going to feel very travel, kind of like what you would throw in a suitcase but you have all these places to go. It will always be colorful and romantic just because I love that, and powerful, hopefully.
And the models walking in it?
We just love a mix. You could be any color, size, boy, girl, trans, everything. We just want beautiful people.
You’ve worked a lot with rap sensation Cardi B lately. What is your process when it comes to designing pieces for her?
Oh my god, I love her so much. Cardi would wear one of these [resort] pieces, she’d wear a lot in this collection. I love making things for her. She’s a character but also a very real person, which is really nice. She’s actually very easy to work with, surprisingly, and knows what she likes so that also is helpful. And she has fun with fashion. She really plays and mixes her look. I have to send her a pair of our new transition glasses because she’s gonna die for them.
What is your favorite piece you've ever designed?
Oh god, I have no idea. It’s hard, we literally dressed 17 people on Oscar night this past year and every single one of them I really just loved. I thought they all were different but all very special and unique in their own way. So it’s very hard to choose and it also changes and depends on my day. Some days I’m into it, some days I’m not. They all are special, for sure.
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