It was a Christian Siriano love fest on Thursday night.
The designer gathered his Hollywood ladies for a last-minute shindig in celebration of his 15th anniversary. He was in town with boyfriend Kyle Smith for makeup artist Preston Meneses’ Malibu wedding.
“I was like, ‘I just wanna have a cocktail party outside,’ which you can’t do in New York,” he said, in the twinkling garden at Nic’s on Beverly. It had been a sunny and warm November day in L.A., hitting a high of 83 degrees.
“Have you eaten here?” asked Siriano. Tables were covered in roses and sketches he drew for the occasion, while featuring his book “Dresses to Dream About.”
“Darling, the food is amazing,” he continued. “It’s all plant-based. My friend Alicia Silverstone has been bringing me here for literally years. I said, ‘Can we have my party at Nic’s, do you think?’ She was like, ‘I’m calling them right now.’ That worked out.”
Silverstone was among the guests, arriving later in the evening. The first to make an entrance was Sarah Michelle Gellar, turning heads in a strapless cocktail number. Cameras flashed as she and Siriano blew air kisses. Everyone had their turn getting snapped with Siriano. Krysten Ritter was next, more relaxed in jeans, a T-shirt and blazer.
“She goes, ‘Babe, I threw on your blazer. I’m coming from work,’” said Siriano. “I love that I get to dress people like that.”
While toasting the milestone, it was also a night to celebrate those who supported him early on, he went on.
“California and Hollywood is a big part of my career,” he said. “I’m a big red carpet designer. That’s kind of what I’ve done for a long time. So yeah, so that’s why it makes sense to have this little night. Not everybody could make it, but I’m glad that my friends could and the people that are here.”
There were newlyweds Chrishell Stause and G Flip; Symone; Ashlee Simpson; Michelle Trachtenberg; Candice Huffine; stylist Tara Swennen, and Leslie Jones.
“Excuse me, ma’am, who let you in?” Siriano joked as Jones posed for photographers.
Not many could pull off a party in 48 hours with such a turnout. But with Siriano, it’s beyond business. He’s fostered personal relationships with these women, creating looks for them whenever needed — however short the notice.
“Janet’s like, ‘I need a gown for the wedding.’ I’m like, ‘OK, girl.’ Literally, tomorrow!” he said of friend Janet Jackson, a longtime client of Meneses’.
He made Mariah Carey’s recent Thanksgiving parade ballgown in three days. “I have done some insane things for people who I love.”
It’s in his nature — but also necessary, he said: “I think sometimes designers have to build a better relationship with the people that they work with. Because it’s not enough just to make pretty clothes. You really have to have a little more to it than that…Especially for a young designer. I mean, I can’t compete with the Vuitton and Diors of the world. I don’t have a million dollars to get one girl to show up to a party. So, I make better relationships so that when I call them, they drive themselves and do their own hair and makeup and show up to a party, you know what I mean?”
With the red carpet still on pause due to the Hollywood strike, Siriano doesn’t have a reason to stick around L.A. And he’s got the CFDA Fashion Awards to attend on Monday. So it’s back home to New York, where he’ll continue to work on his next pre-fall collection.
“I’m just gonna focus and take a break,” he said. “You know, my anniversary show was so big. We had Sia sing and Janet [Jackson]. I was tired.”
Taking a beat, he added, “I’m old but I’m not out yet! Maybe in five years, then I can retire.”