Christian Siriano NYFW 2017
photo: Dan Lecca

When I started working in the fashion industry nine years ago, I never imagined I’d see women who resembled me on the runway.

As a plus-size woman, I’d scan the catwalk and the crowd, searching for a soul who might parallel my fuller figure, but I'd always come up empty. Thankfully, more designers than ever before are realizing there’s beauty and power in body diversity, and fan-favorite Christian Siriano is leading the sartorial pack.

For two seasons now, Siriano has cast curvier models to strut alongside traditional models; with his Fall/Winter 2017 show, he really upped the inclusive ante.

christian siriano show
photo: Dan Lecca/Agentry PR

While in September we saw him dip a toe by choosing five curvy catwalkers, he doubled that this season with 10 top plus models.

siriano runway show
photo: Dan Lecca/Agentry PR

The 53 looks were worn by women sizes two through 16, with industry veterans Alek Wek opening the show and Karolina Kurkova closing it. Marquita Pring, Precious Lee, Georgia Pratt, Sabina Karlsson, and Alessandra Garcia Lorido all returned from last season, joined by five other stunners including Candice Huffine, Iskra Lawrence, and Jocelyn Corona.

Although other designers still seem to be dragging their feet, Siriano sees no reason not to have an inclusive runway.

siriano runway show
photo: Dan Lecca/Agentry PR

“I just think it is important,” Siriano told Revelist. “It wouldn’t make sense not to have every shape and size as much as we can in the show. I just like to see it and I think the customers like it and are able to visualize themselves in the clothes more. That is exciting. I thought they did a great job today.”

Siriano clearly understands what his customers and fans want to see, and he made sure to broadcast his message of inclusivity to the fashion industry, and beyond.

siriano runway
photo: Dan Lecca/Agentry PR

One model stomped the carpet in an elegant pink ballgown skirt and a T-shirt emblazoned with the message “People Are People.” The shirt comes in at an affordable $25, with all proceeds donated to the ACLU.

“People are people and I think we should support everyone we can, and I would never want to alienate myself from anyone that wanted to buy a piece from my collection.”

As beautiful as Siriano’s message was, his gorgeous collection was the true star of the show.

siriano runway show
photo: Dan Lecca/Agentry PR

Inspired by the beehive sand formations in the Valley of Fire State Park, it was filled with sumptuous fabrics, like plush velvet and structured pleated lamé rendered in rich gold and copper shades that burst under the lights of the Plaza’s ornate ballroom.

From his stunning designs, to his powerful message (and let’s not forget his diverse star-studded runway), Siriano’s show will no doubt make major waves throughout the industry and beyond.