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Christian Siriano’s Show: Inspired by Sea Creatures & Katharine Hepburn?

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We all know Christian Siriano is an original, and today he showed us why—by trumping every other show we've seen during New York's Fashion Week so far!

Staying true to his quirky personality, the lovable Project Runway winner debuted his eponymous Spring 2012 collection for a huge crowd, but away from the Lincoln Center tents in an industrial space in Chelsea. And it was nothing short of breathtaking.

How did he come up with such a gorgeous collection yet again?

Fashion Week Blog Tile

MORE: Christian got a standing ovation last year

We caught up with the diminutive designer backstage, where he was explaining his designs while also trying to shuffle his mom past security to get her backstage.

He went through the racks of his clothes, telling us that one dress in particular, which was day-glo yellow and Heidi Klum's favorite, retailed for $1,200.

The collection was filled with stripes and bright oranges, greens and elaborate, airy, flowing dresses and skirts.

"There were a few inspirations for this season," he said. "I sat and thought if I took a trip what would I want to find? I went through tons of pictures and thought about the sea and what would I find under the sea and the corals and the creatures and the colors I really liked. Another was the Katharine Hepburn movie Summertime. It's sort of a sad movie, but when she is in Italy out on the Patio and is in this gorgeous coral colored dress—that was inspiration too."

Siriano told E! News he wanted the runway show to be light and energetic. One source close to the designer told us he held it off-site because he found the tents simply "uninspiring."

"I wanted the girls to have fun, not pressured, light, full of energy. I'm happy with the show and the collection and how the show turned out," he said.

Backstage to congratulate him was Runway host Klum, who gushed over the collection and congratulated Siriano with a hug.

MORE PHOTOS: Fashion Week Spring 2012: Runway Rundown

One of models from the show, Melody Kandil, told us she loves seeing how far Siriano has come and was thrilled to be walking in his show.

"He's absolutely adorable, I watched him on Project Runway, so I was excited when I met him at the casting. He's very energetic and entertaining to be around," she said. "The collection is amazing: the bold colors, and there's a lot of variety, bright greens and bright oranges. He's even better now than he was on the show."

And Elle creative director Joe Zee says it's Siriano's unaffected attitude, along with his obvious talent, that's going to keep him around for a long time in the fashion industry.

"I love Christian the person. He's incredible, he's fun, he's super talented and he's so enthusiastic. To see somebody who's in the fashion industry and not be a jaded person is so refreshing to me. That earnestness goes a long way. He's unique, creative and wearable.

"I think he's the next Isaac Mizrahi, or maybe a Michael Kors. There's a lot of light quirky air about the way he approaches design. But he's definitely the only Christian."

Seems the crowd today agreed, as they once again whooped and yelled and clapped for him at the end.

PICS: Project Runway Season Six

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