There’s a lot that can be said about Lindsay Lohan. All bad judgment aside for a moment, she’s the one time actress that graced countless movie screens in such pop culture films like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, a one time singer and songwriter, and she’s also the designer of a infamously expensive line of leggings named after her hero Marilyn Monroe’s birthday 6126. Yes, resume wise there is a lot that can be said for Lilo. Over the last couple of years this starlet has seemed to have lost her light. A tabloid fixture, this once red head freckled face kid has had to publicly deal with what many of us aren’t able to deal with privately. A broken relationship with one time partner DJ Samantha Ronson, the sudden downfall of her film career, a couple stints in rehab, public displays of drunkenness, thefts, and restraining orders. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, girl that just can’t seem to win has had a sudden change of luck. And not just any change – homegirl got a major hookup!
A couple of weeks ago French couture house Emanuel Ungaro known for the slimming silhouettes provided by it’s namesake, announced the resignation of it’s young Latin head designer Esteban Cortazar, and the installment of the new head designer Estrella Archs who’s past employers include Prada, Emilio Pucci, and Nina Ricci. Not too long after that (about 24 hours) Ungaro CEO Mounir Moufarrige announced to the world that Lindsay Lohan would be placed in the newly created position as Artistic Advisor to the house of Ungaro. The title alone holding its own amount of weight (and loads of money), Moufarrige made it clear to the fashion world that Lindsay Lohan would have a vital part in the revitalization of the Ungaro brand. Not only would this media darling be the face and talking doll for the house, but she would also have veto power over what designs would ultimately walk down the runway. To put it in terms we all can understand: She’d basically be telling the head designer what would, could, and should be designed for the label.
Asked to describe her role in the creative process, Lohan said she “kind of oversees everything [Archs] does, while working with her. Different generations have different ideas.”
Of course the skeptics came out in droves, the recent surge of celebrity driven products has sky rocketed in recent months. Most of these being ploys to gain publicity and some sort of notoriety, fashion publications, bloggers, and even other designers all raised a collective eyebrow at this suspicious appointment.
The affable Mr. Gunn took the same tack when we broached the subject. “Could I not comment?” he asked politely. “Of course,” we replied as Gunn pursed his lips, looked directly at us, and while not uttering a word into our whirring tape recorder, emphatically shook his head in disbelief. But then Tim, too, felt too strongly to hold his tongue. “It’s got to be a publicity stunt!” he blurted. “Or a crack-smoking board of directors?”
On October 4th Lindsay presented her first collection to the masses at Emanuel Ungaro’s Spring 2010 fashion show in Paris. While some were hoping that this would be the space where she would finally fit, the skeptics ultimately won. Lohan and Estrella sent a stream of form fitting cocktail dresses, high wasted harem pants, sequined shrunken jackets, silk wrap skirts, and heart shaped nipple pasties down the Parisian runway. Was it well received? Uh, not exactly. Deemed “embarrassing” and “cheesy and outdated” by WWD, the collection was completed in just three weeks, a fact you can easily point out seeing as the collection looks like someone threw it together during Amateur Night at the Apollo.
This storied house has been in disarray for years, and though Archs’ debut provided no indication that she’s up to the challenge, she should be given the chance to find out without a younger, non-skilled judge with theoretical veto power hovering about. (Let’s just say the ladies’ joint bow didn’t radiate chemistry.)
The decision to add a celebrity to the ranks of Ungaro has been in ongoing debate over the last couple of years and was the ultimate reason the 23 year old fashion whiz kid Esteban Cortazar is no longer with the brand. His intense lack of desire to take orders from a untrained celebrity after finding out socialite Paris Hilton was in the running for the position, resulted in his demise. Lindsay was given the position after a conversation in her home with CEO Moufarrige who was swept off his feet by the young starlets enthusiasm for fashion, a passion he saw after seeing her bedroom covered in designer clothing thrown about (no, seriously that happened. I’m not joking.).
“Lindsay already had an Ungaro coat at the age of 13,” said Moufarrige. “Her own mother used to wear Ungaro. You could not sit on a settee or chair in her place. Her home was full of brands. You had to sit on the floor!”
If Lindsay Lohan’s job was to bring publicity to a label not known by many outside the fashion world, then a job well done! But in my opinion, it didn’t have to be done at the expense of what this is all about in the first place: FASHION. There’s no doubt in my mind celebrities can be fashion designers. As much as it gets on my nerves to say it, some of them can actually be successful at it (see: Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Victoria Beckham). Do I think Lindsay’s troubled reputation proceeded her? Totally. There’s no doubt in my mind had this been someone who’s name isn’t synonymous with ‘tabloid’, it may have been welcomed with small open arms in the snobby elitist world of European fashion. Somewhere deep in my heart, I just wish this collection would have come out a little better, for Lindsay’s sake at least. Girl, you just can’t win!
- Lindsay Lohan New Face of Miu Miu
- Lindsay Lohan for Fornarina SS09
- Eyes To The Sky, Ears To The Street: The Hotness & The Hot Mess 2009.
- Minimalism is Queen on Alexander Wang’s Fall 2009 Runway
- 5 Questions w/ Laura&Ashley of DimePiece