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Christian Siriano: Island in the sun

A bright lily yellow creation lights up the

A bright lily yellow creation lights up the runway during the Christian Siriano show at Eyebeam in Manhattan. (Sept. 7, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

In a sea of black and white (seriously  —  it's everywhere this Fashion Week), Christian Siriano's spring 2014 collection was a much-needed shot of energy.

There were subtle nods to a Mexican influence (the embroidery, the bright colors, the raffia patchwork), and then the more literal (tropical huts decorated the runway and, boy, was it hot inside the Eyebeam Center!).

Siriano, who found himself in the spotlight once upon a time on a little show called "Project Runway," and — unlike many "Project" competitors —  has turned his reality TV win into a notable career, is recently engaged and fresh off a trip to Mexico's Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), where he found inspiration for his latest line. Times could be worse for the guy.

Of all the things he has to celebrate right now, he chose "the female form," using dramatic, flowing dresses and tops with capes, vibrant floral prints and bold embellishments, from feathers and sequins to oversized ruffles and all-over appliques.

Like most everyone else, he embraced the crop top, some sheer and tied in the front and others paired with full, ladylike skirts.

But best of all were the shoes, equally as fun as the clothing, and much more approachable for the everyday woman. Siriano has been partnering with Payless for a while, and word on the street is that a handful of the runway looks will be produced by the affordable retailer come spring.

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