Book Review. Christian Siriano’s Fierce Style Musings

October 15, 2009 • Lifestyle


Seriously. Who hasn't tomed a style book these days? Well, me for one. But I digress. Project Runway Season 4 winner and fan favorite, Christian Siriano has a new 'ferosh' style book out. Of course it's called, Fierce Style: How to be Your Most Fabulous Self and while it's pretty light, it is highly entertaining and chalk full of Sirianosims like 'tickity tack' – a cooler way to communicate something or someone is tacky. Or 'ferocia coutura' – that inner diva we all have no matter our size or shape. There is a glossary at the end of the 242 page book to help you keep the terms straight and personally it's my favorite part of the book!

Second City Style interviewed Christian last spring when he was in Chicago, read Christian Siriano Takes on Chicago here.

Back to the book…Yes, I just finished it and was highly entertained. For a tiny and very young designer he does not have a shortage of advice or things to say which you already knew if you watched Project Runway Season 4. You will find tips from celebs like Victoria Beckham, Vanessa Williams, Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia…even Whoopi Goldberg which I found a little off-putting (after all I don't consider her a fashion role model). You'll also read a list of fashion do's and don'ts from Christian, and see his original sketches and behind-the-scenes photos. The forward is written by Tim Gunn…whom we adore.

Apparently Christian was not always so fierce himself. At a very young age growing up in Annapolis, Maryland he had to learn to channel being ferosh in his every day life, but don't feel sorry for him. He won Project Runway at the ripe age of 21! He's now unstoppable having shown two collections at New York Fashion Week, designed a line for Puma, another for Payless and developed a makeup collection for Victoria's Secret. No doubt there is much more to come.

Here are some prized Siriano nuggets:

On his famed hair –

My natural hair is not cute. First off, it's curly, but not in a gorgeous Rebecca Gayheart kind of way. It's frizzy and course and dry. In junior high I parted it straight down the middle. Hot mess! Then I started using crazy amounts of gel and flat-ironing my hair straight down on my forehead. That was an abomination! Next up? The Mohawk. Then I had it professionally straightened, but it burned. Now I'm happy with my current style, my 'fashion hawk.' I've even gotten the flat-ironing and styling down to a twenty minute science.

Christian on his early style –

Some of my personal don'ts came from growing up in Annapolis, where you can't escape the nautical style. It was slip-on boat shoes every day day for me. Then there was the striped period; striped shorts, striped boat shoes, and striped t-shirts. So bad! But I couldn't be stopped. If it had stripes on it, I had to have it – in every color.

By middle school, I'd done a total one-eighty. Boat shoes be gone! Instead, I traded them for FUBU jerseys, huge baggy jeans, and New Balance sneakers. Remember the big-logo Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica T-shirts that were popular back then? I had dozens. Those were bad days. I was a little white fairy kid walking around in giant FUBU jerseys. Tough times!

On wearing fakes –

Don't! (We could not agree more!) Simply put, fakes are cheesy. There is really no need to wear a phony designer piece. Still, I used to be guilty of this fashion no-no: I once went to a flea market and bought dozens of fake designer pieces! What's worse, I totally pretended they were real!Tell your Mom and Dad all you want for Christmas is that one fabulous YSL bag. Start small. It's better to have one amazing piece that will last forever than a thousand fakes, no matter how authentic they look. Don't waste your time or money unless it's the real thing.

The book is an easy breezy read, but one you will enjoy…especially if you developed a love for the pint-sized wonder like we did.

* Christian Siriano will be at Saks Chicago signing copies of "Fierce Style" from 4-6 pm this Friday, 10/16.


700 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL  60611

Or purchase Fierce Style: How to be Your Most Fabulous Self here.

– Lauren Dimet Waters

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