Photography by Trevor Smith

Christian Siriano

Designer

| Chelsea

Nearly a decade into his namesake brand and Christian Siriano has become synonymous with modern glamour. His collections of show-stopping gowns— be they undulating ruffles of tulle or a sea of sequins— seem to drum up nostalgia for the Old Hollywood days, and yet, they beckon for your own life’s “big moments” just the same. But then, isn’t that the point? Siriano makes dresses, but his dresses make moments: the kind in which women feel their most beautiful, their most empowered, their most extraordinary. Indeed, it isn’t hard to see how the designer, who apprenticed under fashion wunderkinds Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, has come to dress nearly every icon in pop culture royalty— from Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o and Sarah Jessica Parker to Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham and Coco Rocha— nor is it surprising that he’s one of the only designers to cast plus-size models in his fashion week runway shows (to Siriano, beauty comes in every shape, color and size). His future is bright: with hands now in ready-to-wear, intimates, eyewear, home, beauty and fragrance, he is well on his way to a full-fledged Siriano world— and oh, what a wonderful world that would be. Here, he sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Living in Chelsea, there are so many great places to love. I like the Red Cat (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) for lunch, Bottino (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) for dinner and The NoMad (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is really great, but there are so many others too– it’s hard to choose.

COFFEE OR TEA: Tea mostly, but I don’t drink a lot of caffeine. If I did, it’s usually the random tiny, little places that have the best tea blends.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: It’s so hard to choose because New York is filled with so many [great spots], but I always love The Waverly Inn (MAP IT, BOOK ITx)— it’s so cozy and, for the winter, they have best truffle mac-n’-cheese ever; for summer, get the amazing kale salad.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Well, I’m still a big fan of a cosmo– it’s fresh and easy to drink. I have had some great ones at Gemma (MAP IT, x) and Rose Bar (MAP IT, x).

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: Sadly, I don’t get to do that very often, but I like a hotel bar— the one at The SoHo Grand (MAP IT, x) I love.

DINNER WITH FRIENDS: I love going to Miss Lily’s (MAP IT, x) with a group of friends. The food is amazing and the vibe is always cool and fun; it also has the best music.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: It so depends on the person; I have such a diverse group to take around and that is what is great about New York. Some friends are very uptown so I’d plan lunch at The Plaza (MAP IT, x), walking around Central Park, The Met (MAP IT, x) and Madison Avenue shopping; others want a cool downtown experience like shopping in Nolita, tacos at Tacombi (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), early drinks at The Bowery (MAP IT, x) or dinner at Gemma before late drinks at a chill Lower East Side bar like Cabin (*Location now closed).

MUSIC PICK: I love a mix, but anything that you can dance to is always fun. Pyramid Club (MAP IT, x) is old-school, but it plays the best ‘80s dance music.

BEST BRUNCH: I actually love brunch at Freds (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) at Barneys downtown. It’s so chic and the food and the service is great.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Around Union Square.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Blossom (MAP IT, x) for a kale salad.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Any place with truffle fries!

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: I think the tiny, “nothing” little places that you stumble upon when you are not even looking [are the best secrets]. In New York, you can try a new restaurant every night if you want to and that’s something that no other city has.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The creative people that live and work in this city. There is always a new show or art opening or something to see.

REGULAR AT: In a strange way, I’m not really a regular anywhere. I do have my places that I go to often, but I’m in my office all day, every day unless I’m traveling so I order food from the same random corner spot in the Garment District almost every day.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Anything on Seamless— usually, Japanese.

TO GET INSPIRED: Just walking all over the city– I love the Flatiron area, uptown by the park, downtown for the diversity; I’m always keeping my eyes open.

GO-TO GETAWAY: My favorite getaway is my house in Connecticut. It’s just far enough from the city to feel like an escape and it really has become my favorite place in the world. I would rather go there than take a vacation sometimes.

CLOSET CHECK: My style is not exciting. I’m around clothes all day so I try to wear a uniform that is easy and that I don’t have to think much about. I like a simple Comme des Garçons (MAP IT, x) tee shirt with a khaki trouser or skinny black pant and a fabulous bag— that’s my look.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: I’m a big décor shopper. I find things at vintage and antique stores all over the place; in every city that I travel to, I like to find a piece of art. I love furniture (I have an obsession) and I think it’s all so beautiful. I also love textiles so we have a lot of linens and pillows and throws (most of which are not needed, but I love them). I love color too; it’s important to have a home with some color in it!

FIT PICK: Boxing at Shadow Box in Chelsea (MAP ITx).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: I feel like I have a “NY moment” every day… Just walking around the other day, this older women, maybe in her 80s, was casually crossing the street and a cab driver yelled at her and she stopped in the middle of the street and started hitting his cab with her bag– it was like a movie. She didn’t skip a beat; she just fought back right away. That’s a true New Yorker— ready for anything and never backs down. CP

Christian’s NY

From L to R: First Row: The Waverly Inn; Brunch from Freds at Barneys; Tacos at Tacombi; Central Park. Second Row: Tees from Comme des Garcons; Inside The Red Cat; Bites from Miss Lily’s; Dinner at The NoMad.

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