‘The little blue dress’ – Christian Siriano finds success in ‘designing’ a career of inclusion

Clothes make the woman. Forget the ‘little black dress’. Last night at the Democratic National Convention, designer Christian Siriano created a new fashion statement in his dress for First Lady Michelle Obama – the ‘little blue dress’.

Mr. Siriano, winner of season four of Project Runway, has become the ‘go to’ wizard of real women’s clothing design.

On June 28  ‘Ghostbusters’ actress and Saturday Night Live cast member, Leslie Jones tweeted“It’s so funny how there are no designers wanting to help me with a premiere dress for movie. Hmmm that will change and I remember everything.”

Mr. Soriano responded within an hour “@Lesdoggg ✋🏼👋🏼”

In a follow-up tweet he expressed his long held work values.

“It shouldn’t be exceptional to work with brilliant people just because they’re not sample size. Congrats aren’t in order, a change is.”

One could guess it’s this attitude of inclusion that put him on the First Lady’s radar.

The New York Times ‘On the Runway’ columnist, Vanessa Friedman noted the link.

“Lest you think Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe choice was just happenstance, however, know that the convention appearance was only the second time she has worn Mr. Siriano; the first time was this month, at the funeral for the police officers killed in Dallas.

Throughout her time in the White House, the first lady has made something of a secondary cause out of supporting new, independent American designers, and choosing her clothes not only because she likes them but because their back story has a certain resonance that goes beyond the aesthetic. Monday night was no different. Fashion is not known for its embrace of togetherness (more for its exclusion). But Mr. Siriano is.

Think that’s just a coincidence?”

michele obama

We make an impression with how we dress. For those in the public eye, where you are one wardrobe malfunction away from a twitter storm, what you wear communicates who you are.

For the rest of us, not a size 2, figuring out what to wear to work is more than dress selection, it’s choosing the ‘costume of the day’ that will enhance our confidence and  communicate our individuality and work ethic.

You never know who may be paying attention.

I look forward to following Mr. Soriano’s career and hope others will follow his leadership to create contemporary fashion for today’s diverse workplace reality.


Photo credit: Mrs. Obama – Reuters




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