New York Fashion Week: Christian Siriano brings body diversity to the runway

Christian Siriano’s ladylike collection of airy dresses and wide-leg pants was modeled by a diverse group of women — five of them plus-size models. It was particularly interesting because it paralleled his A-list, and also diverse, front row, which included Jaimie Alexander, Christina Hendricks, Pamela Anderson and Ashley Graham.

Though he’s never visited the Island of Capri — he readily admitted this in a backstage interview — Siriano’s inspiration was garnered from vintage photos from the late ’60s and ’70s of Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ travels there.

Best in show: soft cotton stripes turned out on breezy, nautical-feeling cotton dresses and tops. Also excellent, was a series of black frocks, several with open weaves and swooping low backs. A sexy, slim black pantsuit featured box-pleated sleeves with a matching pant. A white stretchy cotton shirt dress had gold buttons running down the front and was stunningly elegant despite its simplicity. And several glamorous white evening ensembles embellished with icy crystals were lust-worthy. On the “hmmmmmm” side: vivid orange pieces that could have done without the flourishes.

As a side note, it’s been a very good year for Siriano overall. In May, he collaborated with Lane Bryant to create a plus-size collection that earned rave reviews. He recently made headlines for stepping up to dress comedian and actress Leslie Jones (when no other designer would) for her “Ghostbusters” premiere, which earned him the reputation as a “friend to curves” and a non-sample size savior.

“I grew up in a house where my mother was a size 16 and my sister a zero. They were the same to me,” he said of his knack for dressing all sizes. Other positives in the life of the former “Project Runway” winner, who seems to have gone mainstream? In early July, he married longtime partner Brad Walsh. Near the end of the same month, Michelle Obama wore his dress to deliver her historic speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. As for how that impacted his business: “It didn’t hurt,” Siriano was quick to say.