Christian Siriano Says He Might Design Adaptive Clothing After Friend Selma Blair's MS Diagnosis
Christian Siriano may be expanding his fashion empire into the adaptive clothing arena
Christian Siriano is the superhero of the fashion industry. He is the leading champion of size-inclusive dressing and when actresses are in need of a custom creation, he always steps in. His designs are seen all over the red carpet, on women of all sizes and ages. So when his friend, actress Selma Blair talked to the star about starting an adaptive clothing collection afterher MS diagnosis, Siriano was all ears.
Blair, who revealed her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in October 2018, recently told Vanity Fair that one of the challenges she faces living with the condition is the lack of fashionable clothing available for those with disabilities. She explained that she would love to partner with Siriano on a line of adaptive clothing for people with and without disabilities to wear and love. And in a new interview with PEOPLE, Siriano said it’s something he is considering.
“Selma and I talked about it at dinner,” the designer told PEOPLE at the Project Runway premiere party in New York City Thursday night. “What’s happening with her is so unreal, so I was like, ‘Well maybe this is something that is needed in a way,’ so we’ll see. I don’t know yet but maybe.”
Blair, 46, made her first public appearance since revealing the news at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party in February wearing a Ralph & Russo pleated multicolor gown with a flowing cape while carrying a custom cane for support.
“I wanted a special cane for #vanityfair dinner,” she wrote on Instagram. “So… @lyon_heartedwent out and found patent leather and @bic_owen and he stitched it on. Hours of love put in. And then #tombachick made it especially magical. I burst into tears. These gifts to get me through. #subtle #chic #love. I can’t thank these three enough. There are angels.”
Blair is a longtime friend of the designer and even walked in his runway show during New York Fashion Week in February 2018.
When the news broke of her diagnosis, Siriano wrote a touching note about the star on Instagram. “It was such an honor to have this amazing woman @selmablair grace our runway this past Fall season,” he wrote. “She is one of the strongest and most wonderful humans I know and we are sending her so much love. I would have her walk any and every season to come if I could!”
In February, Blair spoke to Good Morning America‘s about her condition, saying that she was in the midst of a flare-up, experiencing spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder which affected her voice. But doctors are hopeful she will regain 90 percent of her abilities within the next year.
As for Siriano, he was out in New York City last night for the premiere of the new season of Project Runway, where he’ll return (after wining season 4 in 2008) as a mentor for the contestants, replacing longtime fixture Tim Gunn.
“I didn’t really get to talk to Tim sadly, I talked to Heidi [Klum] a little,” he told PEOPE about taking over the reigns. But Siriano explained how he brings his own unique experience to share with the contestants.
“When we’d have breaks during filming, I would go to my office and get back to work, so it was like I was giving the contestants real advice from a designer who is working in the business right now,” he explained. “So I think that is very important for them because, they’d be say, ‘Oh this was inspired by Beyoncé and I’d say, ‘Well I dressed Beyoncé last week, she’s not going to wear this.’ I know what the stylists are pulling and I know what the retailers are asking for. So I hope that that inspired them because I think that’s pretty special.”
After a brief hiatus on Lifetime, the show is returning back to Bravo and in addition to a new mentor, Karlie Kloss is replacing Heidi Klum as host and the judging panel consists of editor Nina Garcia, designer Brandon Maxwell and journalist Elaine Welteroth.
“Heidi has been really supportive. The show is her baby and I’m really excited to be a part of this next chapter of the show and to be a part of this incredible cast, Kloss told PEOPLE at the premiere. “I grew up watching the show; I really, really believe that this is such a powerful platform to showcase these designers and this next generation talent and for me it was really important to bring everything that I had, the experience and everything that I can to this show and to help these designers grow and learn.”
Garcia says viewers can expect a few changes, including the judge’s face time with the contestants.
“The most surprising part about this season was the fact that we had so much access to the designers, whereas seasons past we really didn’t have much accesss to them,” Garcia said. “We didn’t get to hear their background stories, our time with them was very limited. This time around we had so much more time to get to know them to know their backgrounds to know their story, to really understand where they’re coming from and where their creative process starts.”
-Reporting by Claudia Harmata