We’re thinking spring today thanks to this little heat wave hitting New York, so it was fitting that designer Christian Siriano‘s spring/summer video look book hit our inbox this afternoon, as well! The clip features actress Mena Suvari gallivanting around New York’s Soho Grand Hotel in several of Siriano’s dreamy dresses.
“I wanted this video to feel elegant and dramatic but still have a chic downtown vibe,” Siriano tells PEOPLE. “I also really wanted to show the collection in a different light than just a typical runway show. Not every customer sees a runway show, so it’s important to find new ways for the customer to fall in love with your collection and your brand.”
Since this was Siriano’s very first video look book, he tapped “great friend” Suvari for the super-fun modeling job. “She is stunning, an amazing actress and I really wanted this video to have real-life emotions and feeling behind it, which I don’t think I would have been able to capture with just a model,” he explains.
As for the collection, full of signature Siriano gowns and lighter cocktail dresses, the designer says he’s “all about casual luxury. I imagine [my customer] visiting beaches around the world, traveling to them by air and by sea, and echoing in her wardrobe the things she sees from the shores of Bali, Honduras or Belize.”
He also drew inspiration from another actress — one Katharine Hepburn — and her wardrobe in the 1955 film Summertime. “As Jane Hudson, she arrives in Venice sporting chic white summer dresses, wide-leg men’s trousers and tailored silk blouses,” he recalls. “I hope that this collection will similarly inspire any woman who wears it. My goal is to make my customer feel special when she is getting dressed.” Tell us: What do you think of Siriano’s spring/summer collection?