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Fierce Factor

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Christian Siriano’s giant ruffles and even more oversize personality made him Project Runway’s youngest-ever winner—and even made guest judge Victoria Beckham smile. Now there’s just one question on fans’ minds: “Everyone asks, ‘Is Christian really like that in person?’ And my friends are like, ‘Yeah!'” says the 22-year-old designer. Yes, he does use the words “fierce” and “flawless” like punctuation—not to mention two hairspray bottles simultaneously. He’s already designed a dress for Beckham—a “cutesy, sexy” black, backless, ruffled number—and plans to include “more wearable” looks in future collections. So how did a former hair salon worker from Annapolis, Md., end up a fashion darling worthy of a Saturday Night Live sketch (see box)? Frankly, it seems like destiny. In high school, Siriano styled his painting teacher every day before class: “I’d be like, ‘Lady, you look a hot mess. Let me do your makeup.'” And before that, he was turning Halloween into a 15-costume affair. Recalls Siriano: “My mom always said, ‘He’s gonna be something!'”