Christian Siriano Is Taking the Sleeping Beauties MET Gala Theme Literally

Christian Siriano Is Taking the Sleeping Beauties MET Gala Theme Literally featured image
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Fashion’s biggest night is nearly here, and award-winning CFDA designer Christian Siriano is taking the opportunity celebrate the theme of this year’s exhibition: “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” In a collaboration with Unisom, the number one pharmacist recommended otc sleep-aid, Siriano “woke up” some of his own archival favorites and even created a brand new sleep-inspired piece.Reviving the fashion too delicate to wear again and the beauty of sleep, the collab feature models ‘falling asleep’ at iconic locations throughout NYC.

“Going back through my archives is one of my favorite things,” Siriano says. “I love to see them come back to life and be worn again.”

The stunt takes place Monday, May 6th and will happen over the course of approximately 4-5hours. Stops will include Rockefeller Plaza, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the fountain across from Grand Army Plaza/in front of The Plaza hotel, and near 81st and 5th. 

“It’s insane to think about a New York block crowded with my work,” Siriano says. “Like, I’m so down.”

Shane LaVancher on behalf of Unisom

Sleeping Beauties: Variation on a Theme

This year’s MET Gala exhibition is all about exploring fashion too fragile to wear again, the pieces of fashion history that are now, by their very nature, no longer wearable fashion. As a designer, the theme strikes Siriano, personally.

“There are some pieces that are just too delicate and fragile to be worn again,” Siriano says. “And I tend to think of those pieces as art, like a painting that needs to be preserved. Once it’s hung, it shouldn’t really be touched anymore.”

Shane LaVancher on behalf of Unisom

And for a designer who’s worked with today’s biggest names including current FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden, former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Zendaya, Billy Porter, and Jennifer Coolidge, to name but a few, there are some pieces that definitely fit that bill for him.

“Some of my favorite iconic pieces I’ve made in my career, I don’t really think should be worn again,” Siriano explains. “Like Billy Porter’s gown for the Oscars or one of the pieces I’ve made for Michelle Obama.”

And on the other side of the stitch, is the person wearing the piece, who will build their own memories with that garment.

“We’re creating art, but people are also living their lives in it, you know?” Siriano says. “Sometimes the memories they make are even more important. Someone’s first Oscar’s appearance or I dressed Lizzo for her first Grammy, or even just a woman getting married, right? What we wear in those moments become a tangible expression of that memory, and they might never be worn again for that reason.”

Siriano on Sleep

Christian Sirano and Unisom collection
Shane LaVancher on behalf of Unisom

With sleep on the brain this MET season, it was a no-brainer to work with Unisom in order to realize the NYC-wide fairtytale shoot.

“When Unisom brought me this idea, I was really struck by how beautiful and dream-like the whole thing was,” Siriano explains. “And for me, my relationship with sleep has always been vital to me and my team. We aren’t going to stay up until two in the morning working, because we value that rest. I don’t even have a TV in my bedroom.”

For Unisom, the moment was perfect.

“Unisom’s mission is to help people get a better night’s sleep, so we were thrilled to partner with Christian Siriano to take part in this unique cultural moment to bring awareness to the beauty and importance of sleep,” explains Unisom senior brand manager, Jodi Mordekai.

It can be easy to romanticize those all-nighter, just-push-through moments when you had to go beyond your limits. But Siriano explains that what you create when your rested and ready is just better.

“I realized that really early in my career that it just isn’t worth it,” Siriano says. “I’m so much better when I’m rested, that’s when I’m my most talented. That’s when my talent shines.”

Predicting MET Gala Trends

With the red carpet just around the corner, Siriano has a few predictions. The dress-code, ‘The Garden of Time,’ brings the botanical and fresh to mind, but the story’s dystopian ending might show us a darker side of greenery.

“I think you’ll see a bit of both,” Siriano says. “But once there’s ten people on the carpet at once, I think we’ll really see the full effect of the flower, botanical theme. It’ll be floral mania, and I think it will look really cool. It will really look like an immersive, walking garden, Anna knows what she’s doing.”

While it’s tempting to take the floral route, Siriano doesn’t plan on keeping it that simple.

“For me, I’ve done flowers the last few METs,” Siriano says, grinning. “So, I’m going a bit darker, a bit more romantic.”

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