Dressing Meg Ryan, 55, Was a 'Nice Change' for Christian Siriano

Donna Freydkin
Meg Ryan in Christian Siriano (Photo: Getty Images)

It doesn’t take all that much work to make a size-zero supermodel — otherwise known as a walking coat-hanger — look perfect on the red carpet.

Which is why designer Christian Siriano opted for a different approach to Monday’s CFDA awards, which celebrate the best and brightest of the fashion world. He glammed up 55-year-old star Meg Ryan.

“When she got dressed, she was like, ‘I feel like a movie star.’ And we all laughed and said, ‘You are actually a movie star!’ She’s so normal and gracious and nice. It was a perfect date for me. It was a nice change from the regular fashion girls,” Siriano tells Yahoo Style.

See more: CFDA Awards: From Meg to Kerry to Mandy, What Everyone Wore

The two had worked together several times before and had an easy rapport, which helped. So he reached out to Ryan and asked her to be his date. He had two fittings with Ryan, who saw the white dress on a mannequin in Siriano’s showroom.

“An actress like Meg knows what she likes and what she would never wear. So that’s easy to start with,” he says. “We tweaked a few things and that was it. That was two weeks ago. It was quick and easy.”

Meg Ryan with Christian Siriano (Photo: Getty Images)
Meg Ryan with Christian Siriano (Photo: Getty Images)

He also dressed honoree Janelle Monae for the CFDAs, which required an utterly different approach.

“I’ve dressed her a couple of times on her awards circuit. Her stylist reached out and asked about making something custom for her. We made her three looks and that’s the one she picked. We made the jumpsuit three days ago. That was quick too,” he says.

Janelle Monae in Christian Siriano (Photo: Getty Images)

Siriano has made it his mission, of sorts, to make women of every size, shape and color look gorgeous on red carpets — something most other designers are, for whatever reason, unwilling or unable to embrace. His ensembles have been worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, Uzo Aduba and Tina Fey, to name but a few. He’s dressing five ladies for this Sunday’s Tony awards — but no names are being named, yet. “My team is really over me right now,” he jokes. “It’s really good. We’re just sleepy-tired.”

If there was one trend to spot at the CFDAs, it was the lack of size diversity, as models like Bella and Gigi Hadid and Lily Aldridge looked their usual willowy best. Curvy model Ashley Graham wasn’t there, and neither was Candice Huffine, which surprised Siriano, who has been proactive about dressing curvy actresses in the past (He famously outfitted Leslie Jones for the Ghostbusters premiere after the actress lamented on Twitter that no designers would dress her.). But Siriano is focusing on what he does, which is making women feel like a million bucks.

“Anyone can make a model look great. That’s not an interesting way to showcase your work. I’m trying to do what I do and hopefully people will take notice,” he says.

But, he says, things are evolving, albeit slowly. “There’s a lot more designers celebrating size and color and ethnicity on the runway. I think things are changing but it’s a hard challenge and I don’t know why it’s a hard challenge for so many. I’m trying to make it the norm. It shouldn’t be a topic.”

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