Christian Siriano for Payless

A few weeks ago, I set out for the Big Apple to get a sneak peak behind the scenes of Fashion Week with Payless Shoes.

It’s been fun to hear from many of you that attending Fashion Week is one of your bucket list items, so hopefully these pictures will give you a little feel of what takes place to pull off a show.

For those of you who have followed my Frugal Fashionista series for years, you completely understand the irony of me attending Fashion Week. While I do enjoy some great fashion inspiration and I love how a great outfit can change our outlook on how we feel about ourselves (i.e. wear sweats to the grocery store vs. a great pair of jeans with some cute boots),  I’m the last person to be impressed with all the star studded celebrity sightings, but I love surrounding myself with creative and passionate people. This did not disappoint.

Christian Siriano shoes

One of the things I appreciate most about working with Payless is that they truly understand most women want to indulge in great fashion without worrying about paying designer prices.

They tapped the creative prowess of Christian Siriano to design some high end looks for those of us on a budget (and isn’t that most of us?) Yes, completely my fashion motto and he delivered with an amazing assortment of footwear and handbags.

For those that aren’t familiar with who Christian is, don’t worry, I know all about the show Project Runway, but I’m not quite in tune with high end designers unless some of their designs hit the runways aisles of Payless Shoes, TJ Maxx or graces the racks of my favorite Frugal Fashionista stomping grounds.

This young superstar designer launched his career as the youngest winner of Project Runway (Season 4).

Back in its glory days of hosting by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Christian was just 21 and is now a red carpet favorite for celebrities, dressing stars such as Taylor Swift, Kelly Osborne, Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and more.

Fashion Week Christian Siriano show

I had a few minutes with him before the show because I wanted to know how we can apply this to everyday life.

If you listen closely, you’ll hear the steamers getting the dresses prepped, the hair and makeup section in full gear and multi tasking at its finest. It was hopping while we chatted.

Hair and make up  fashion week

This was the area I loved the most. What I wouldn’t have given for just a few minutes in hair and make up. It was 12 degrees and snowing when we stepped out of our cab and by the time I actually got inside, my hair was everywhere. Little did I know that I was going to walk in and immediately do the interview. The wind blown look is “in.”

Behind the scenes at Fashion Week


There were actually quite a few takeaways from this show. The organization inspiration was amazing and I could honestly see implementing these ideas in our own home closet. So often, we can’t find anything to wear, but it’s mainly a factor that we don’t remember what we have. Shopping our closet it one of the easiest steps to a great wardrobe because you wouldn’t believe all the great styles you forget were already there. Have you cleaned out your closet lately? I just started doing mine last week and it was like Christmas.

Getting ready for the show

Since many of us have smart phones, start snapping a picture every time you wear an outfit you just love. Print if off and start a “wardrobe board” for your own closet. It will help you remember what accessories you wore and how you paired the outfit.

It will also give you an idea of what new core wardrobe items or fun trendy pieces you need to shop for. I’ve bought a few too many similar items because things have gotten buried in my disorganization. (I found an extra pair of gray pants and white jeans I forgot about.)

Fashion Week with Payless Shoes


Can I admit that while I watched the models during their dress rehearsal I kept thinking about the burger and fries I had just devoured and wondered if it was worth it?  I always ask that AFTER I’ve just eaten. 😉

You really need to see their runway walk. (Click here to view it on my instagram account.) Honestly, I debated how much time I should spend just practicing their walk. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

And here is the “After” Finale walk.

Christian Siriano show


I had an amazing front row seat, but the thing that surprised me the most and I’m sure it will you too, the whole show only took about 15 – 20 minutes from start to finish. So much detail and behind the scenes preparation and it was done in minutes.


Fashion Week models

csiriano fall fashion show

He had a great combination of classic looks, as well as some over the top fun fashion week dresses. Here are some of the favorites.

Csiriano show

And then there’s me. 🙂

Before I attended, I asked a friend who works for Ralph Lauren and attends Fashion Week every year. He assured me that anything goes for attendees. He mentioned people wear everything from jeans and tee-shirts to fancy dresses and then followed up with “Just wear black. It always works.”

Frugal Fashionista fashion week
So I was a good girl and listened to the pro.

Fashion Week - frugal fashionsta
I wore all black but dressed it up with some great bling (I love this necklace from Cents of Style), and then added the pop of color in my fabulous Payless shoes.

I wish I could have gotten a better picture (thank you hotel room light) because the black top looked very classy. I had budgeted for some brand new outfits, but I decided to make a quick run to Goodwill before I hit the department stores. This amazing top was calling my name for $3.75.

If that doesn’t restore your faith in humanity, what does? 😉

I’m excited to do more Frugal Fashionista posts mainly because I want us all to be encouraged that we don’t have to buy into this misnomer that to look great we have to spend a fortune. With a little creativity and some great store options, we can bring the fashion week inspiration home to us. 🙂

Dress up chic black with some bling