Paris Fashion Week: Lindsay Lohan’s first Emanuel Ungaro collection is a walk of shame


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It was a deadly collision of celebrity culture and fashion culture on Sunday at the debut of the new Emanuel Ungaro collection with Lindsay Lohan as artistic advisor and Estrella Archs as designer. When Lohan came out for a runway bow, her eyes were full of tears. And it’s easy to see why. After all the hullabaloo over her appointment a month ago, with some fashion insiders suggesting it was an insult to anyone who had ever really worked in design, it had to have been the walk of shame to end all.

The fashion crowd is a tough one, and the fangs were out for this collection from the beginning. Unfortunately, the clothes--reportedly whipped together in a mere three weeks -- didn’t do anything to defy low expectations.


It’s difficult to know whom to blame -- Lohan for taking the job or Ungaro President Mounir Moufarrige for thinking he could install a troubled Hollywood starlet with no fashion training at a venerable French house (even one that cycles through designers faster than Lohan cycles through rehab stints). Or maybe it’s the fault of the industry in general, which has put a premium on fast, flashy and addictive fashion, over forward-thinking and creative fashion.
The impulse to focus on the house’s signature shade of hot pink was a good one, and that’s how the collection began, with a tight minidress draped over one shoulder. There were a lot of minidresses in this show, many of them so short, they seemed to be inviting a TMZ crotch shot.

The second design element was the heart, in a repeating sequin pattern on one jacket and repeating cutouts with sequins peeking out from underneath on another. These were partytime clothes -- ruched leggings in bright blue and purple (Lohan has her own line of leggings too -- 6126), pink harem pants and bandeau bikini tops with heart-shaped charms nestled between the breasts.

But by far the worst offense were the glittery heart-shaped pasties worn under suit jackets. In a word, why? They were just begging to be laughed at. A larger version of the heart pasties also turned up on some of the models’ heads.

Nothing in the collection evidenced any real skill or discernible design work. In fact, you could probably find a lot of it already on the shelves at Kitson. I did hear someone remark that they liked the shoes, which had narrow, stair-step heels.
Still, there’s really no defending this misguided collection, other than as a desperate bid for attention from a house that hasn’t mattered since its founder retired in 2004. I just don’t think it’s the kind of attention they had in mind.

-- Booth Moore

Photos: Emanuel Ungaro spring-summer 2010 runway

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