Christian Siriano Fall/Winter 2013

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Tucked away from the blustery winds and piles of snow, Christian Siriano transported his audience away to the golden age of the Russian Opera for his Fall/Winter 2013 collection.

Inspired by the lavish interiors of Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, Siriano translated the opulence of the royal 1880’s into a decidedly wearable collection of sleek black cocktail dresses, moto jackets and luxe fur coats. Pieces were sophisticated in structure– think nipped-in waists, raised necks, pleated swing skirts and rich in texture with liberal use of velvet, furs, lame, leather and even metallic wool. Siriano deftly played with and riffed on the classic Russian style (a milkmaid bonnet here, a fur hat there) creating a collection fit for a modern day Czarina.

With opulent Russia as his guide, Siriano easily could have relied too heavily on gilded embroidery and over the top extravagance. Instead, he kept it fresh and modern. Embellishment was done tastefully, and only occasionally, with lovely Miriam Haskell jewelry. His girl is a modern day Russian princess with a devil may care attitude and an affinity for leather. She rocks her layers of tulle and sequins with the same edgy spirit as her cropped vest and dominatrix over-the-knee boots.

Highlights of the collection included a gold embossed jacquard moto jacket and matching pencil skirt (complete with a sky high slit) which seamlessly married opulent texture with wearable, modern silhouettes that would look just as at home on a Parisian Editrix as a runaway Czarina. A silver lacquered coat with tulip hem continued the brocade trend but the shiny lacquer finish and military style construction made it feel fresh for Fall 2013.

While the palette was restrained to inky black and gold, there was one bright spot of color in the form of three metallic fuchsia wool looks. However the punchy color and abundance of glitter strayed away from the sophisticated world of the Russian opera and into disco territory.

A parade of gilded gowns, tinkling with tiny paillettes closed out the stellar show. Stylists, social scene darlings and bright young actresses alike left the gilded room dreaming of grand Russia.

Hilary Presley is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]