Christian Siriano's Boyfriend Says The Fashion Media Is Biased Against Reality TV


Christian Siriano’s boyfriend, the musician Brad Walsh, wrote a long and impassioned blog post about what he perceives to be the fashion establishment’s bias against Siriano’s work because he came to prominence on a reality show. Noting that many writers still place Siriano’s collections in the context of Project Runway, a show that taped nearly five years ago, mention his Payless shoe collection disparagingly, and at best make back-handed compliments about how Siriano is “shak[ing] off his reality-show roots,” Walsh asks, “is it mostly, as I suspect, that he’s accomplished all of this without their help? The precious few were told Christian was good — they did not deem him good — which makes their objection to him almost childish.” Walsh mentions an encounter with “a reporter from a website that extensively covers fashion” who found the designer, in conversation with Anna Wintour and Carolina Herrera, at the ballet:

When the reporter had her chance at intermission to speak with Christian on the record, her question was “what do you think about mustaches?” The next day, her publication printed Christian’s short and bewildered response purposely alongside an unattractive picture of him with his mouth agape, as he was answering the question. Rather than ask “how do you know Carolina Herrera” or “what did you speak to Anna about,” she asked “what do you think about mustaches?” To me, that indicates that there’s a problem, and it doesn’t lie with Christian.

(Googling “christian siriano mustaches” yields a surprising number of results, incidentally, though we were unable to identify this publication or this writer.) Walsh also calls out — but does not name — the work of Meenal Mistry, a critic who has made some Project Runway digs in her time. But more than any specific writer or publication, Walsh seems interested in critiquing an overall climate of opinion that he regards as lazy and classist — and hypocritical, given that Rachel Zoe and André Leon Talley participate in (much cheesier) reality shows and yet haven’t had to hand in their fashion cred cards. (Although it’s not true that the stylist Zoe’s efforts to launch a licensed clothing line have been met with universal approval from the fashion establishment — it was after all a Teen Vogue editor who called Zoe out for knocking off a vintage dress, a dress that Zoe had actually included years earlier in a shoot for the magazine Zoe herself styled.) Walsh also mentions some critics and publications that have come around to Siriano’s work. It’s never seemly for a designer to call out a critic (and although Walsh says that Siriano had no input into his post, other than consenting to its being published, he will almost certainly be regarded by some as Siriano’s media surrogate), and there are many reasons one could imagine a reporter might ask a source what he thinks of mustaches — not every interview has to be about Serious Issues Of The Day — but Walsh’s post is an interesting read. [Brad Walsh]

You must have seen Rachel Weisz cuddling a baby goat on the cover of AnOther Magazine. [AnOther]

Alexander Wang, Dustin Lance Black, and Ryan McGinley share the new cover of Out. McGinley says he made out with Black on the set of Milk, where he was taking photographs. And there’s this: “McGinley used to throw a gay dance party, Main Man, in New York City’s Lower East Side, which is where he met Wang. ‘Have you seen him dance?’ McGinley asks. ‘He could’ve been a Fly Girl on In Living Color. I never made out with Alex, but we bumped and grinded on the dance floor.'” [Out]

And Carine Roitfeld made the front of i-D. [The Cut]

Isaac Mizrahi didn’t put on a show this season. But he did shoot his spring collection in a beautiful lookbook. [Racked]

Alexa Chung’s Madewell collection for spring is, as always, almost infuriatingly cute. [Fashionista]

Since John Galliano was found guilty of hate speech for making racist and anti-Semitic comments, the blog Humor Chic decided to make him this very official racism license. [Humor Chic]

  • Lindsay Lohan threw a drink at a photographer at a fashion week party. [WWD]
  • When Mischa Barton sat front-row at Naeem Khan’s show yesterday, she was wired for sound. Barton sat with stylist June Ambrose, who is filming a reality show. [The Cut]
  • The fashion director of Us Weekly says that there is “speculation” (“rife” speculation, even, except when is speculation ever not rife?) that this year’s Fashion’s Night Out will be the last. We wouldn’t miss it too much. [Sasha Charnin]
  • Salma Hayek, on how she came up with one of the products in her new beauty line: “One breakfast time I had made pancakes and orange juice for my daughter and I had an idea. I took brown sugar, honey and the orange juice, mixed it up and created this great face scrub and mask. I put it on for 20 minutes and I was back feeling great. It’s things like this that really inspire me.” [Showbiz Spy]
  • The Spring 2012 ready-to-wear collections are in full swing, New York having just passed the baton to London. But there’s already a scheduling dispute over the Spring 2013 season. The four governing bodies that are responsible for coordinating fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris agreed several years ago that fashion month would start with the first New York shows on the second Thursday of February and the second Thursday of September. This year, that meant that New York fashion week came right on the heels of Labor Day weekend, which is not exactly ideal. But next year, the second Thursday of September is the 13th, and Milan feels that this will make its shows start too late. “We have to redefine the calendar all together,” Women’s Wear Daily quotes an angry-sounding representative of the Italian Chamber of Fashion as saying. He’s worried that if Milan’s shows start on September 27th, that will be “too late for production.” The idea of changing the Spring 2013 seasonal calendar, or of revisiting the whole second-Thursdays agreement, was rejected by the New York and London responsables. The Parisian body said maybe they could think about it for 2014. [WWD]
  • IMG, which runs New York fashion week, tried to cancel Gulnara Karimova’s show, because her father is the dictator who has spent the 22 years since the breakup of the Soviet union pillaging the wealth of the nation of Uzbekistan and oppressing its population with what the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan called “widespread torture, kidnapping, murder, rape by the police, financial corruption, religious persecution, censorship, and other human rights abuses.” But Gulnara showed her line anyway, at Cipriani 42nd Street. Human rights groups protested outside. [The Cut]
  • The Los Angeles Times isn’t sending its fashion critic, Booth Moore, to cover the European collections. No London shows, no Milan shows, no Paris shows. And Moore, who calls the situation “a bummer,” is pissed: “I don’t know what kind of [European] coverage they want, but they’re not going to review the collections with pictures.” [WWD]
  • Say hello to the inevitable Gossip Girl clothing line. [WWD]
  • Shang Xia, Hermès’ attempt to found a Chinese luxury brand, turned one year old. [WWD]
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