Candice Huffine on Being Christian Siriano's Muse and Owning the Term "Plus-Size"

Getty | Mike Coppola

We're living in very peculiar times. In a pre-pandemic world, attending a fashion show (or in the case of Christian Siriano, asking your BFF to walk in one) wouldn't seem out of the ordinary, let alone potentially lethal. But boy, have things changed since. Yet the proverbial show must go on, and so it did earlier today at Gotham Hall in New York City, where model and entrepreneur Candice Huffine not only walked in Siriano's show — she served as his muse.

From the confines of my apartment, just 25 blocks south of the venue, I — along with approximately 1,000 others — got a front-row seat to the action via Siriano's Instagram Live. Surprisingly, the presentation felt the same — albeit virtual. Approximately 20 minutes after the scheduled start time (fashion shows almost always begin late), "Stay Closer" by the electronic musician Zhu blared from my laptop speakers as Huffine and other models emerged from beds positioned around the venue to walk the runway (we love a piece of performance art). Other highlights included pops of lime green and fuchsia, silky sheens, XL ruffles, voluminous shoulders, and, of course, size diversity.

Instead of fleeting remarks from fellow attendees, I saw an influx of positive comments roll in ("So inclusive," "Come on body positivity," and "Aunt Candy!" to name just a few). It reaffirmed what we already know: Christian Siriano is one of the most inclusive designers in the game, always on the cusp of the next great way to expand his brand, whether through mask-making, reality TV, or, for this collection, partnering again with online clothing reseller thredUP to bring awareness to the fashion industry's waste problem.

What's more, Siriano did it all with Huffine by his side. Here, Huffine talked to us (via video, natch) about modeling for Siriano and the importance of body diversity in fashion.

Getty | Mike Coppola

POPSUGAR: How does it feel to be the muse of this show?

Candice Huffine: It's an honor to be the muse of this show, to have such an incredible performance piece to open the show, and really just get back into the fashion scene in such a fun way with someone whom I love so much, Mr. Christian Siriano.

PS: Tell us about your looks today.

CH: I love my looks today. I wore a fabulous plaid coat with a hot pink lining, which I can just tell is going to be the color of the season — mark my words, mark Christian's words. And now this little two-piece number in a leopard sparkle fabric, which, say no more. It has "my favorite" written all over it. This is a me dress.

PS: When did you and Christian first meet?

CH: Christian and I have known each other for a very long time. Fun fact: we are from the same town in Maryland, so we go way back. I wouldn't miss a thing Christian Siriano does. I adore him.

PS: As a New York transplant, what do you think it will take for the city to bounce back?

CH: The city is absolutely bouncing back — it's resilient, it's home, it's where I made all my dreams come true. I grew up with this city; this city will never be knocked down. This city's the greatest place on earth, so wait for the comeback, baby! It also hasn't gone anywhere, let's just be real about that. But I know we're coming back stronger and better than ever, as we always do.

PS: What's the first thing you're going to do when the pandemic is over?

CH: Go to a live concert. I really miss dancing, jumping up and down, getting sweaty. But I will say, it wasn't until today that I realize how much I actually miss this environment. This was one of the more surreal and very cool experiences of my 2021 and I'm happy to be back.

PS: What has been your favorite part of working with Christian?

CH: Glamour's back. I put on a heel for the first time in forever, I got incredible makeup and hair done, and it feels right. It feels like I'm back home, to be honest. And I'm really excited that the world hopefully will be coming to a more inspiring and healthy and vibrant place in the near future, and we'll have all these great places to wear these great clothes.

PS: Can you give us your honest opinion of the term "plus-size?"

CH: I think you can use whatever word that you want to describe a curvy body, as long as you see that body everywhere: in all media, all magazines, all runways, all television, all movies, everywhere. Because the fashion industry needs to match the world that we live in. So call me whatever you want — just call me!

Look ahead to get a closer look at Christian Siriano's fall/winter 2021 collection.

Christian Siriano's Fall/Winter 2021 Collection
Getty | Mike Coppola

Christian Siriano's Fall/Winter 2021 Collection