It was just a year ago that the fashion world was shocked and dismayed by the appointment of Lindsay Lohan as Artistic Director of the house of Emanuel Ungaro. The owner, Asim Abdullah, thought that appointing Ms. Lohan would bring a much-needed revival to the brand through publicity and connections to Hollywood. Esteban Cortazar, who had been designing for the house for two years, immediately quit at the news citing that he could not work with someone of such inexperience. Lohan presented her first collection for Spring 2010 to horrible reviews and sunk the House further into the ground than it already had since Abdullah’s acquisition in 2005 for $84 million.
With only one season under her belt, all rumors were abuzz when Lohan was seen during Fall 2010 Paris presentations galavanting around town. When questioned about her position at Ungaro, she refused to answer questions citing that legal issues were involved.
Whew! What a relief it was to hear that she would no longer be “burning down the house” of the beautiful and magical beauty that has always been Ungaro.
Things started to look up for Ungaro in April when Abdullah appointed London designer, Giles Deacon as Creative Director.
As one of London’s top avant -garde designers, Giles is known for his off -beat feminine craftmanship. His aim with this first collection was to keep to Ungaro’s roots focusing on prints, color, lightness and sexiness. He took a trip to the archives and decided to focus on the House’s signature style of sophistication, French tailoring and sex appeal. For this debut collection, he reinterpreted the brand’s signature daisy translating Ungaro’s reputation for prints in a range of sophisticated pastels, in addition to a good measure of black lace. The collection focuses on quality and sophistication with an air of vivaciousness as this is what the brand has always been known for. He did a wonderful job of channeling the spirit of what Ungaro has built his brand upon since the 60′s and all of the right elements were there.
Instead of holding a runway presentation, he presented 30 looks on models from various eras on a podium shaped like a daisy. The presentation had a pile up of VW’s buried in multi-colored daisies that some say was a reference to Lindsey Lohan’s “Herbie Fully Loaded” as many recall her tenure as a horrible car crash. Rounding up models from Ungaro’s tenure, he solicited famous names such as Anna Della Russo, Georgina Grenville, Shirley Mallmann, and, most of all, Kirsten Owen who all walked the runway for the House back in its heyday.
Ungaro’s clothes were heavily favored by socialites in the original Age of Excess, and what he presented for the House this time will definitely keep the professional party girls lined up at his doorstep. The pendulum has finally swung the other direction, and its time for this house to finally get back on its feet. We look forward to seeing how buyers and editors react to this collection and we can’t wait to see more from Giles Deacon and the House of Ungaro. We can’t help but wonder what Ms. Lohan thinks of the collection, but then again, I guess you don’t get style.com in jail.
To view the entire collection, go here.