Elle Magazine called him a “Karl Lagerfeld in training,” and that description could not be more fitting. American designer Christian Siriano won Emmy nominated show Project Runway at the ripe age of 21, and the rest is history. Christian launched his namesake label, “Christian Siriano” in 2008, and his designs continue to woo the world of fashion in 2014. Siriano just released his first fragrance, Silhouette, and already has another one in the works. Siriano held his fragrance launch party in partnership with e Drop-Off’s Corri McFadden this past Thursday night, and we got a chance to chat with him and his fashionable bff, Chicago wonder woman, Corri.
Alex: Congratulations on the launch of Silhouette, that’s amazing!
Christian: Thank you!
Alex: So what was the inspiration behind the name, Silhouette?
Christian: Well Silhouette…it was a tough name to figure out because we want it to be able to last 30, 40, 50 years. The real challenge was how do you figure out a name that can last forever, but still feel modern? I think every woman celebrates her silhouette. You can be any shape and any size and any age to wear the fragrance and to really celebrate it. We needed it to be timeless in a way that’s still cool. So that was my feelings…I’m always going to be creating silhouettes, so that was the idea behind it.
Alex: I was reading a little bit about the fragrance earlier and I have to ask, how did you wind up coming up with this scent? What was the inspiration behind the notes and smell?
Christian: I wanted it to be a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy and kind of an earthy tone, but still very fresh. I wanted it to be very wearable, so it also has a little citrus to it. Mandarin, green apple, that kind of feel, and the sandalwood notes is what makes it have a little kick to it. My goal was to have it be everyday and not overpowering…it smells pretty great.
Alex: The candle also smells great. Sounds like a very long process between making the fragrance and producing it. What was that like?
Christian: It was a long process, it was not fun! The picking of the fragrance notes was really cool because everything that I thought would smell great, didn’t. And everything that I thought would smell terrible, smelled great together, so that was hard because it’s totally different smelling things from the pure form because everything is so strong. So a touch of something makes the fragrance smell totally different. That was a challenge, but a cool one, and the rest is just a lot of work. Between the packaging, making sure the bottle was right. We have an ombré effect on our bottle, and there was about 100 times that ombré went back and forth. The cap comes completely off, so that was just a logistics thing. I felt that if you could take the cap completely off, that was just a moment. It was great.
Alex: After all of that, would you produce a second fragrance?
Christian: Yes, I would! We are already working on another one. In the fragrance business, you usually launch one and then you need to have something in the next year or two to kind of go with it, in a way? So that is what we are working on now, figuring out what Silhouette’s partner can be.
Alex: What’s the first thing you do when you come to Chicago?
Christian: I don’t do anything! I don’t have much! To be honest, I would say that the Barney’s here is very good, so I like that. Corri [McFadden] always takes me to such great places and she always takes me out to eat and we always have fun. That’s what I love, I don’t come that often but when I do come I get to go to new places and she’s always like “this restaurant just opened, let’s try it” and that’s that best part. Everyone in Chicago is so nice, I get a great vibe when I come here.
Alex: How do you think Chicago is different from New York?
Christian: It’s very different from New York. It’s still a big city but it feels like you can get to know people which is nice.
Alex: I’m going to pull Corri in for some questions! So how did you two meet?
Corri: We met…
Christian: When you were filming your show!
Corri: No…we met when you were talking at Columbia!
Christian: That was a longgg time ago
Corri: Wow that was three, maybe four years ago?
Christian: Yeah I was doing a little speaking thing at Columbia about fashion, and Corri came and she was amazing and super chic.
Corri: I remember what I was wearing. I was wearing bright blue pants, Brian Atwood shoes and an oversized top.
Christian: Yeah, you looked amazing.
Alex: So I know you’ve been dressing Corri for quite a while, she always looks fabulous. You made her baby shower dress and are designing her wedding dress, what is that process like?
Christian: Corri is very easy to work with.
Corri: I’m sure that when I was a sample size it was easier! Things are a little different after a baby! They’re getting back to normal.
Christian: You look great!
Corri: I even pulled out my Siriano gold heels for 10 years [of e Drop-Off.]
Christian: Corri has a lot of really great Siriano pieces. It’s always exciting and I like to see that they stand the test of time. I love that dress of mine that you wore to a gala…that was one of my favorites dresses ever.
Corri: The black jeweled one!
Christian: Actually nobody else has that dress either, because we only made one. That’s kinda cool. I love that dress. I need to visit it actually.
Corri: I sold it! No, I’m joking, I still have it!
Alex: Thank you so much for chatting with us Christian!
Check back on Tuesday, October 28th, when we finish our chat with Corri. She lets us in on launching The Collection, balancing life as a Mom and successful entrepreneur, and gives us some tips on entering the real world after college.
Photos: Kohl Murdock