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Christian Siriano: How He Designed Heidi Klum & Sarah Hyland's Emmys Dresses, All While Planning A Fashion Show!

Wed, September 21, 2011 12:24pm EDT by Katrina Mitzeliotis 1 Comment

From fittings on the morning of his Spring 2012 show to designing two totally custom gowns, find out how the designer managed to get both stars Emmys-ready!

Project Runway alum Christian Siriano is certainly keeping busy! Not only did he show his Spring 2012 collection during New York Fashion Week, (with his Runway judges looking on from the front row), but he also was enlisted to design the Emmys dresses worn by both Heidi Klum and Sarah Hyland! “It was very different and very special,” the designer said when asked about Heidi’s frock. “In a sea of red, it’s nice that she stood out.”

Christian said he maintains a great relationship with Heidi. “It was so fun working together. I get the most random calls from her. It could be the day before or the week before, it’s very organic and it’s an easy-going process when we work together.”

The designer said they started working on the dress a month before the event — and right in the middle of Fashion Week prep! “It was a lot of work. Heidi said, ‘I’m coming back to NY on Sept. 6,’ so we did the fitting while we were also in the middle of castings and model fittings at the same time. It was a very crazy day, but what’s really great about Heidi is that she knows what she wants off the bat. She’s very adamant about what she likes and what she doesn’t like, which is helpful. When you’re making a custom dress you have to know what you like.”

Working with Heidi is lots of fun, mainly because she can pull-off so many looks so well. “Lots of people think of her [Heidi] as sexy, but she likes to be feminine and romantic as well. It’s so different from everything she has worn in the past. She’s been going to the Emmys for a long time and she’s going to continue to go for a long time, so there’s always next year to wear something different. She was a model and she’s used to wearing different types of clothing.”

While Christian was behind the intricate frock the model mogul wore down the runway, he said he didn’t look to the others and judge their dresses. “Everyone is so hard on each other. At the end if the day, everyone looks amazing! If it were just a cocktail party and you walked into the room you would be like, ‘OMG, everyone looks stunning,'” he said — although he was definitely happy his designs stood out!

“I couldn’t look at one more red column dress, I just couldn’t do it. They looked gorgeous, but can you imagine if you were one of the actresses? That’s why making a custom dress is kind of exciting. Heidi and Sarah both looked so different from everyone else.”

While Heidi’s look was very voluminous, Sarah’s was definitely super pretty and feminine. “Working with Sarah was a little different, because I had never met her before and she’s in LA, so we chatted on the phone. When we knew she was coming to NY for a fitting it worked out — the alterations were like nothing! She’s small and beautiful and looks great in clothes. We actually managed to do the fitting on the morning of my show.” Now that’s cutting it close!

Christian said the two dresses definitely had two distinct looks to them. “It was a fun difference and I liked that both dresses were so opposite — it shows that as a designer I can cater to different types of women.”

So, what look were they going for with Sarah? Sarah’s younger and fresher and her show is number one on TV right now, there’s a lot of pressure for her as a young actress to look beautiful, but also look her age” he said.

Katrina Mitzeliotis

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