Designer Christian Siriano skyrocketed to fame when he won Season 4 of Project Runway in 2007, and he launched his own collection the next year. Now, his eponymous fashion line can be found in department and specialty stores worldwide, and he dresses A-listers such as Rihanna, Shailene Woodley, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Lupita Nyong’o, Victoria Beckham and Michelle Obama. His most recent collaboration is a limited-edition bottle design for Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. Siriano lives in New York City and Connecticut with his husband, singer/music producer Brad Walsh.
When are some of your earliest memories of drinking wine?
When I launched one of my first collections, we had an event with a wine sponsor. I wasn’t a wine drinker until that first season. I have noticed, as I get older, it’s something I really like. I’m a big white wine fan and big dessert wine fan.
Do you do much cooking and entertaining at your home in Connecticut?
Yes, we do. My husband cooks a lot, so that helps. We have some really good friends who live close by, and we host people all summer long. Brad cooks Thai fusion and makes amazing stir fry. He also makes his own pasta.
“Palm Springs was particularly known for bright patterns and floral textiles, so I aimed to bring both of these to life in my label design for Ecco Domani.”
With a typical dinner, is there wine on the table?
We tend to be pretty predictable when it comes to the wine we drink across our meals. Brad will usually go for a Malbec. I mostly enjoy Pinot Grigio—always Italian. I’m also a big Bellini drinker, and I like Champagne and sweet-tasting cocktails.
When you have people over for dinner, how do you divide the entertaining responsibilities?
Brad handles the food and cocktails. I really am more the social person. I make everyone comfortable around each other, especially if it is a random group. I definitely am the decorator. I like linens, and I am a fan of really beautiful napkins. I am also a lover of beautiful dishes. I like a heavy tablescape, for sure.
Do you have any favorite dining spots in New York City?
We are big restaurant goers. We eat at the Waverly Inn a lot. Brad and I enjoy the truffle mac and cheese, the lobster Thermidor and the pot pie. For drinks, I’ll have white wine or a Cosmo, if I’m more in the mood for a cocktail. If he’s not drinking Malbec, Brad’s having whiskey. We also love the Beatrice Inn, another West Village place…The Soho Grand Hotel is one of our favorite places for drinks. [Its] Pimm’s Cup is both our favorite.
What was the inspiration for the bottle you designed for Ecco Domani?
I was especially inspired by the iconic glamour of 1960s Palm Springs, which I also looked to when designing my Resort 2016 collection. Palm Springs was particularly known for bright patterns and floral textiles, so I aimed to bring both of these to life in my label design. The exuberant palm-leaf pattern almost appears to envelop the bottle in a beautiful embrace. The floral pattern is also a subtle nod to the wine’s delicate floral aromas and tropical fruit flavor notes. The bright pinks and greens that make up these blooms create a light, whimsical feeling.
What are the favorite cities that your career has brought you to in terms of wine and dining?
My favorite place social-wise is Paris. I feel like all we do when we go there is eat and drink. We were just in Barcelona, and I felt like all we did was drink wine and sangria and eat puff pastry every day. We were recently in Kuwait and Qatar, and the food was amazing. It’s so awesome to go to new places—you have to try everything.