With winged dresses and swirls of piping to evoke veins, Christian Siriano paid homage at New York Fashion Week to Fay Wray and vampire bats in a stark, cavernous runway space worthy of the creatures of the night.
The fourth-season winner of the cable TV fashion designer competition "Project Runway" said he was inspired by old horror films, particularly "The Vampire Bat," a black-and-white from 1933 starring Wray.
He used a near blood red, silvery gray, midnight black and shimmery gold brocade to set the scene, along with a bright white as a nod to Fay's skin tone and wardrobe in the movie.
"Think of it almost like you're watching an old film," Siriano said. "I thought this whole idea of bats, these flying demons in the night, was kind of cool and very different."
The theme, including blood red lips on models, is darker than Siriano's previous looks. He was helped along by shiny black leather jackets and skirts, some in snake and crocodile patterns.
He went for a little romance in loose shapes and long trumpet skirts, which fit tightly and flare at the bottom, in loose palazzo trousers and in his signature gowns in crepe and tulle. He added wearable gold beading on a red cocktail dress, a faux fox infinity scarf in near silver against a black skinny pant and top, and used a leather bodice with a flowing, pleated skirt.
Siriano also played with fur in a coat. But he stayed true to his bat buddies with chiffon pieces at the shoulders of a white evening gown and his swirls of texture in eveningwear and cocktail dresses.
"She's a very powerful girl," Siriano said. "I'm really in love with outerwear right now in great jackets."
Actress Gabourey Sidibe of "Precious" sat in Siriano's front row.