Exclusive: You Won’t Believe How Quickly Christian Siriano Put Together Janelle Monae’s Met Gala Look

At just 33 years old, Christian Siriano has dressed more people of note than many designers will in a lifetime. Take the 2019 Met Gala for instance. He whipped up a black orchid/Ursula-inspired ensemble for Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox. For Ugly Betty alum, Michael Urie, he designed a gender-fluid half-ball-gown-half-suit number. He strenuously embroidered Ryan Murphy’s orange suit and cape…and made dreams come true with singer Janelle Monae’s blinking face dress.

With everyone from Oprah to Michelle Obama knocking on the door of his eponymous fashion house, it’s incredible that he's found the time to create each and every one of these conversation-driving designs. So, how is he able to do it all? Maybe it's thanks to his Project Runway roots, but Siriano seriously excels under time constraints.

Siriano gave PureWow a look into his insane design process, thanks to his new partnership with Check Your Sweat, an initiative that aims to empower people with hyperhidrosis to feel comfortable in their own skin.

Referencing Monae’s Met Gala look, he explained, “I did that sketch for her a week and a half or two weeks before the Met Gala. It was crazy. She’s filming a movie, so it happened quite last minute. We did a fitting in New Orleans where she’s filming, and then we did her final fitting two days before the Met. There were [some] very long nights.”

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When Siriano gets an idea, he simply runs with it and, in the words of Tim Gunn, makes it work.

“Janelle’s look was all about surrealism,” he explained. “It was inspired by Picasso paintings and we wanted it to feel kitschy and funny. Obviously, an eye was her bra cup. It blinked all night, so that was really cool.”

But Monae’s gown wasn’t the only one the designer turned around quickly.

“I sketched Laverne’s maybe four days before the Met. We made her dress in maybe three days. It was crazy. But that’s kind of how it happens. Sometimes these amazing red carpet moments come together in the end because it’s hard to plan,” Siriano admitted.

Excuse us for a moment while we dwell on Siriano’s insane level of productivity…

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