It wouldn't be too harsh to say that Emanuel Ungaro has gone from bad to worse. First off it started with that ill-advised partnership with Lindsay Lohan, which was quickly followed by a series of creative directors that didn't last at the brand for too long. To say that it was in desperate need of a shake-up, then, is quite the understatement.
And that shake-up will come from their newly appointed creative director, Fausto Puglisi. The designer has been bought on board as a last ditch attempt to save the brand who has seriously struggled financially as a result of the instability. 'Emanuel Ungaro is a brand that has left a significant mark and still has a lot to say,' Aeffe chairman Massimo Ferretti told WWD. 'Puglisi is a young talent with an international visibility, but with strong roots in our Latin world, and who will be able to turn into a new and contemporary line.'
The Emanuel Ungaro collection this season was interesting, what with the experimentation of prints in a different way from what we've seen this season and the movement away from overt sex appeal, but the recent changes distracted away from that fact. The past few years have seen the house in the midst of changes after changes from Esteban Cotezar leaving due to the brand's new interest in celebrity endorsement and Lindsay Lohan's infamously terrible collection to Giles Deacon's recent departure after only two seasons as creative director. So the big question this week was who would take the bow after the show and of course, how would the collection fair as result of all the recent upheaval?
Jeanne Labib-Lamour emerged as the brand's new designer, unveiling herself at the end of the show but emphasising the collection was a team effort. And in light of the goings on, the team did a good job. Inspired by NASA aerial images, the show was dominated with interesting prints that appeared on dresses with subtle pleats, slinky jumpsuits with draping details and belted dresses and printed skirts. Although the silhouettes were often simple, the use of the prints felt interesting and definitely worth a closer look and were different from what we've seen elsewhere. The colour palette remained focused on aquatic tones but as the show progressed, Labib-Lamour introduced red into the prints, as well as on block coloured pieces like a plunge necked dress.
The collection worked but failed to excite me like the sexy looks that Deacon sent downt the runway during his short time at the house and a result of the changeover, the collection felt completely out of sync with the sexed up aesthetic that the British designer had been championing.
I think it was a good start. There are so many things that you consider when you go into a house like Ungaro that has such a history. You just want to start slow and do something that you’re comfortable and confident with. We didn’t want to do a big show. We wanted to take it slowly. There’s been numerous designers at that house over a short amount of time, and you just want to try and create a clean slate that people respond to in a positive way.
We've missed Giles Deacon over the last two seasons while he's been showing in Paris, but not for much longer. This week the designer confirmed that he will return to London Fashion Week in September.
The new creative director of Ungaro is keen about the move back. "I'm really excited. It seemed like a good idea to bring my own label back to London. I don't like the idea of doing two things in one city," he told Vogue.com. "I love the support in London. I always said I'd come back when the time was right. I wouldn't rule out showing in New York if the time was right."
After winning the ANDAM award Giles Deacon jumped ship and moved over to Paris to show his signature line. We've all missed him over the last few seasons but this may come to an end because he will allegedly return to London in September to show his S/S11 collection.
The speculation began after Hilary Alexander discussed the possibility on her Twitter account. "Giles Deacon may return to show his own collection at London fashion week in September as he shows his 1st collection for Ungaro in Paris," he said.
It is now fully confirmed that Giles Deacon is replacing Estrella Arch as Creative Director at Ungaro. To add to the excitement Deacon is said to be building what can only be described as an "A Team" around himself, with super-stylist Katie Grand, who he previously dated, on board. Having already worked her magic at Prada and Vuitton, she will undoubtedly wow us with whatever she happens to do at Ungaro. And choice of fashion muse goes to none other than Carine Roitfield.
Deacon said, "Carine Roitfeld has a very Ungaro feel about the way she dresses: the tailored jacket, the pencil skirt, her style is kind of tarty with intelligence. I see them as really empowering clothes, and lots of women like playing with the psychology of all that. It’s an interesting game."
Both choices are impeccable much like Deacon's taste in clothes. Roitfield and Grand sounds like a winner and Deacon himself will eloquently bring all the fabulous elements together to create a masterpiece at Ungaro. We await his work eagerly.
Devi Kroell, the cult-favourite designer known for her snakeskin handbags and shoes, is leaving her own company, WWD reports. Kroell founded her eponymous label in 2004. The development comes only a few months after the Ralph Bartel family, also big investors in labels such as Lanvin, took over a large stake in Kroell's brand. It's natural to assume the two happenings are related, though further information hasn't been released.
Kroell will keep a share of the company but will step out of day-to-day operations. Hopefully, Kroell's line won't take the course of Ungaro and flounder without its usual leadership.
Just last week we told you that Giles Deacon was spotted having dinner with Ungaro executives in Paris, fueling rumours that he'll take over the reigns at the brand after the announcement of Estrella Archs departure. It looks like it wasn't simply rumours. Today Jason Campbell of JC Report tweeted:
"Giles marks the fifth designer for the troubled house in as many years, following Giambattista Valli, Peter Dundas, Vincent Darre, Esteban Cortazar and then Lindsay and Estrella. Asim Abdullah, Ungaro’s owner, hopes to make the label sustainable (and profitable) by 2011."
Lindsay Lohan's cover for Purple magazine's 13th issue is finally out. We had expected to be faced with a scantily clad or perhaps even a 'raunchy' Lilo, but instead the image, which was leaked on the Fashion Spot, sees Miss Lohan looking serene, dressed in a long, white, bat-wing sleeved, floor-length Zac Posen dress. Always keen to set tongues wagging, Lohan strikes a pose channelling Jesus on the cross and completes the look by donning a crown of thorns a la JC himself.
The behind-the-scenes video, which shows Terry Richardson at work on the shoot, shows a different side to Lohan. Wearing look 23 from Alexander McQueen's SS10 underwater/alien-inspired collection, she comes across as being a little nervous and in need of direction from Richardson. Eventually he gets her to loosen up a little by suggesting she try screaming, though even then, LiLo still shows signs of uncertainty and perhaps even embarrassment. Let's just hope she bounces back to her usual self soon - after all she's still got a lot of work to do if Ungaro will ever come back from all those negative reviews.