Lindsay Lohan's debut as Ungaro's new Creative Director? An unmitigated disaster. Don't let anyone tell you any differently:
Lindsay, it’s time to get serious about reviving the acting career. After just one season, one show, Mounir Moufarrige’s Lindsay-plus-one experiment is off to a troubled start. Lindsay Lohan, the house’s “creative director,” and designer Estrella Archs (above with Lindsay taking a bow at the end of the show. Doesn't she look thrilled?), (who probably got the job in part for her willingness to sketch in Lohan’s shadow, and probably took it for its high-profile heritage), made their joint debut on Sunday in an effort that was, quite simply, an embarrassment.
As for the clothes, they looked cheesy and dated, as has often been the case chez Ungaro during the post-Emanuel revolving door of designers. Hot pink, orange and flashy, with an overworked heart motif relentless in its execution, the collection displayed none of the promised younger side Lohan was supposed to deliver. Nor in a million years would one guess that the lineup was designed by one young woman and “creative directed” by another. Glitter heart pasties all around, ladies? [Women's Wear Daily]
The Emanuel Ungaro show on Sunday may go down in history as the final gasp of celebrity madness. Emanuel Ungaro was a couture king of drape and shape. When a swathe of white dress was covered with a white fur stole, there was some attempt to move from teen night out to a couture elegance. Yet will this collection of hearts but with no soul be enough to entice young women who could probably find these looks anywhere? [Suzy Menkes in The New York Times]First of all, there was not a single gown in the collection. Not a one. Which was very un-Ungaro-like. And there were a lot of skintight mini dresses, also very un-Ungaro-like. You know, come to think of it, the whole thing was very un-Ungaro-like.
Emanuel Ungaro learned how to be a designer directly under Cristobal Balenciaga, and whether you liked Ungaro’s work or not, the man knew what he was doing when it came to clothes. And now the house, built on the name of a man who had a knowledge of design and construction that just simply cannot be taught, is (partially) under the direction of Lilo. [Fashionista]
The show opened on an up note, with a strapless fuchsia plissé
minidress—two Ungaro signatures rolled into one—and Archs turned the
house's polka dots into a charming enough heart print on colorful
sequined jackets. So far, not so bad…but it wasn't destined to last.
This quickly devolved into a bad joke of a fashion show, one with questionable color combinations, "bad eighties" draped silk jackets and drop-crotch pants, old-fashioned and ill-judged fur stoles, and, yes, tasteless sequin pasties. To top it off, the fabrics and the construction lacked the finesse you expect from a famous Avenue Montaigne brand. To be fair, Archs had just about a month to design the collection. But both she and Lohan (if she sticks around long enough) will have to work a lot harder next time to impress the editors and buyers who witnessed this disappointing debut. [Style.com]
Celebrity fashion designers have, until now, been a mostly American
phenomenon, with lines targeted to department stores under labels by Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani and Justin Timberlake,
among many others. But Ms. Lohan’s arrival at a 45-year-old Paris house
known for $1,500 dresses and a tradition of couture craftsmanship is
entirely different, something akin to a McDonald’s fry cook taking the
reins of a three-star Michelin restaurant. [New York Times]
Ungaro’s chief executive (and mastermind of the media coup), Mounir Moufarrige, put on a brave face and greeted guests including jewelry designer Jade Jagger. The house’s owner, Asim Abdullah, was defiant. Either Ms. Lohan’s name reignites Ungaro, or “we go down in a blaze of glory,” said Mr. Abdullah. “Or unglory.” [WSJ: Heard on the Runway]
The Lohan collaboration is not only ill-advised, it is a complete lack of respect for Ungaro's legacy. I wish Lindsay Lohan all the best in her continued recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and the revival of her acting career. I don't have anything against her, don't follow her antics, don't care really. But I have the utmost regard for artists and their craft in every genre - writing, painting, singing - and sketching, designing and constructing garments. Yes, it's true - and it is often stated as a disclaimer - that fashion design is not "rocket science." However, everything does not have to be rocket science to be respected. We will never have another Ungaro, another Balenciaga, another Valentino or an Yves Saint Laurent, in part because the "money men" (and they are most often men) are too blinded by dollar signs and desperate for any "buzz" to make a buck. Why does "Ungaro" need to go after a younger audience, for instance? What is wrong with the 30ish, 40ish women who can A.) afford the label and B.) appreciate and respect the label's heritage? I think that cavalier attitude - especially one that doesn't mind going down "in a blaze of glory or unglory" - is a disgrace.