- Gary Gershoff/Theo Wargo/Getty Images
- Designer Christian Siriano created four looks seen on the red carpet of the 2019 Met Gala.
- He designed Janelle Monáe‘s dress, which was one of the most talked-about looks of the night.
- INSIDER spoke with Siriano at his New York City boutique The Curated NYC.
- He told us there was a hidden battery pack in Monáe’s gown and revealed the inspiration behind his designs for Laverne Cox, Michael Urie, and Ryan Murphy.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
The 2019 Met Gala red carpet featured some extravagantly “camp” outfits. Designer Christian Siriano was behind four of the most showstopping looks. His abstract painting-inspired gown for Janelle Monáe was one of the most talked-about looks of the night thanks to the “eyelashes” on her top that blinked as she walked down the pink carpet.
- Theo Wargo/Getty Images
INSIDER sat down with Siriano the day after the Met Gala at his New York City boutique, The Curated NYC, on West 54th Street.
Siriano told us the behind-the-scenes secret for how Monáe’s idea for a blinking eye effect came about
“Her blinking eye was completely constructed through the bust and into the back, and she had it in her pocket in a little pouch that she could turn on and off anytime she wanted,” Siriano told INSIDER. “So it was like a little hidden gem.”
Siriano says Monáe particularly responded to his idea to make a dress inspired by abstract paintings.
“It was kind of inspired by an abstract Picasso face painting,” he told us. “Which were actually originally inspired by African masks, which a lot of people don’t know […] And so Janelle really loved that idea and concept.”
Siriano was also responsible for three other looks on the carpet, including a gender-bending look for Michael Urie
- Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
“For me, the gown is really the man and the suit is really the woman,” Siriano said of his inspiration behind the look. “I want people to know that you can be a man and wear a dress and you can be a woman and wear a suit.”
He added: “I call it ‘be your own prom date’ and you can bring yourself to prom. No matter if you’re a boy, a girl, or you don’t identify, or whatever you are.”
It’s not the first time the designer has fused a suit and gown. Siriano created a look with a similar theme for Billy Porter at the 2019 Oscars, where the actor wore a tuxedo dress with a full skirt.
He also designed a breathtaking structural piece for Laverne Cox, which came together surprisingly quickly
“We made Laverne’s dress within literally like four or five days because it was quite last minute and she couldn’t really decide what she wanted,” Siriano said.
In the end, they went with a black orchid-inspired design, which made Laverne quite emotional.
“When she walked into the fitting Laverne started crying,” Siriano said. “And it was so amazing because I think she just was so emotional for so many reasons and it was really nice to see that. Even if we dressed nobody else, I would have been really proud of that look for Laverne.”
His sparkly outfit for Ryan Murphy was inspired directly by the ‘American Horror Story’ creator’s request for a Liberace-like tribute
“He kind of let me be creative, which was really great,” Siriano said of their collaborative process. He added that “Ryan is so amazing and successful because he lets the artist also shine.”
Siriano says those who love the design elements found in his Met Gala design can be found throughout his New York City boutique The Curated NYC.
“We have something for everyone,” Siriano told us. “You can get a Met Gala ball gown here if you want it, but you can also get a great dress to wear to work.”
You can see more of the shop on its Instagram page.
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