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Written by Baille Gelwicks. Photos courtesy of Christian Siriano. More photos below.

The best part of going to the offsite shows at Fashion Week is the incredible design of the runway space. Not having to share a runway with hoards of other designers throughout the day, one has the freedom of creating a runway that compliments the theme of their collection. This goes a long way in really creating an experience for the audience. Christian Siriano did not disappoint here with his scarlet velvet curtains and elaborate crystal chandelier. Audience members were transported to St. Petersburg, home of the Mariinsky Theater, whose interior inspired Siriano’s F/W 2013 collection.

The use of multiple fabrics created visual interest even though the outfits were black on black on black. Fur may be functional in frigid Russia when a focus on staying warm is key, but on the runway, function turns to fashion on sleek fur trimmed coats, vests, skirts, and hats. The bridge between Russian peasant and Russian aristocrat was made when pairing chiffon babushkas with cocktail dresses. Glittering gold further continued the collection’s opulence; proof that gold lame didn’t die in the ’70s. Printed silk dresses mimicked religious paintings seen on the ceiling of a theater. Fuchsia wool was a pop of unexpected color amongst a sea of black and gold. The bold hue replaces red as the regal color of choice in this modern day story. Gold lace appliqués and sequins adorn black gowns made of silk and layers of soft tulle. This combination, although rich, seems angelic. The show closes with the piece de resistance of the collection, a gold sheer sequin and jeweled gown. Although sheer fabric covered by strategically placed embellishments may seem scantily clad, the rich materials make this piece as covered as a wool suit.

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