I can’t keep quiet any longer…Posted: October 8, 2009
I’ve not really done any coverage on this ‘ere space about the fashion week season as I’ve been pretty busy although I have been regularly checking in with style.com and vogue.com to see what’s new on the runways. One show I was looking forward to seeing so that I could laugh and point was at Emanuel Ungaro with its newly appointed creative advisor- um… Lindsay Lohan at the helm.
When I first heard rumblings along these lines some months ago- I dismissed it as another internet rumour which would no doubt go the same way as all the other internet rumours that have been revealed to be utter nonsense. Then I started getting emails from fashion heavyweights like WWD, Vogue et al and I started to take notice. LINDSAY LOHAN?!?! In the words of Bethamint from a comment on Tuesday’s post-
We all know that fashion is struggling at all levels of the market and people need to do what they can to stay afloat but LINDSAY LOHAN? at UNGARO? I saw the show pics a few days ago and didn’t comment but the words in my head have been clawing away at my brain and the insides of my fingertips and I need to set them free. WHAT. THE. FUG?
I don’t even know where to start but my first thought about he whole thing is that its akin to giving a 17-year-old a brand spanking hand made Aston Martin to drive as soon as they take their first driving lesson. If you are going to be appointed advisor of anything at all then surely the position calls for the appointee to have a wealth of knowledge and experience in that area to bring to the role. The 6126 leggings label that Ms Lohan recently launched appears to be doing really well and Lindsay is forever in the news but is that enough to be handed the Aston Martin keys?I don’t blame Ungaro for wanting to align themselves with a celebrity in a bid to increase profits/ profile because everyone does it from H&M to Marc Jacobs- theres no shame in it, but for a luxury house to want to join forces with Ms Lohan has ruffled more than a few feathers including those of the designer at Ungaro, Esteban Cortazar who was fired for refusing to work with her. It could all backfire.
When I saw the first few pics in the collection I instantly thought of this lady….
….then my mind immediately jumped to this lady……
…..and I thought- eek! I like Dame Barbara Cartland and I liked Barbie as a kid, I just don’t think either of them should have been influencing this particular show. Oh- there was a good dose of this lady too…
IMHO the collection was largely a hot mess. It made me cringe and I’m sitting at home looking at photos on the net. If I had been at the show itself I’d probably have slouched low in my seat with my notebook covering my face. If you’ve never seen an Ungaro show you only have to look through the archives to illustrate my point. Who is the collection supposed to be targeting? It wasn’t all bad. I liked the fuchsia and orange colour clash especially when combined in a paintbrush type print that was used throughout the show, and there was one red skirt I liked with a white heart print all over it but it was really more suited to Topshop than Ungaro. There were a few glimmers of potential but the styling was off. On the whole there were more misses than hits and the heart shaped nipple covers were straight up stripper.
Do I have a problem with celebrity fashion lines in general? Sometimes. The issue of whether you need a fashion design degree to be a designer and celebrity fashion collections in general has often been debated (eg: here and here) and I personally don’t think a design degree is absolutely necessary but it certainly helps a lot and actual industry experience is invaluable. Then again- how many of these celebrities are actually sitting in a design studio filling out specification sheets, and creating working drawings? How many have a clearcut vision of what they want the business to be how to go about developing it? How many just pay someone else to do the hard graft and put their name to the finished product? For some celebrities owning your own label is just another commodity like the multi million pound mansion or a driveway full of luxury cars and I don’t think everyone understands how much work is actually involved- it’s a business afterall, not a hobby and the average designer doesn’t sit around drawing pretty pictures and twirling hair round their fingers all day.
One celebrity who has surprised me with a sophisticated and credible collection is Victoria Beckham. I may have said this already on here so I might be repeating myself but when she got in on the fashion game I was mad. Seriously- I was. I rolled my eyes with DvB jeans but I was fit to burst when I heard about her plans to launch The Victoria Beckham Collection. However- I’ve been silenced. I haven’t got a single bad word to say about any of it. Her collections are well designed, wearable and cohesive. There has been no big flashy catwalk show, only small private showing to a select few buyers and journalists and she has pulled it off in fine style. Does she have a design degree? Nope. How involved is she in the design process itself? I couldn’t tell you. Should she go on to be the next creative advisor at a luxury label? NO!