After the disastrous turn the label took when it teamed designer Estrella Archs with Lindsay Lohan, and the less than stellar show Archs subsequently put out when venturing out to design the label’s Fall/Winter 2010 collection on her own, it seems clear to everyone that something drastic needed to be done to save Emanuel Ungaro. Could that something be hiring Giles Deacon?
Asim Abdullah, who bought the once heralded label from Salvatore Ferragamo in 2005, was spotted by WWD having lunch with the English designer at Le Relais Plaza in Paris. Nothing is certain yet, as Ungaro declined to comment and Deacon could not be reached, but the surprising choice would be at once a bit puzzling, yet unquestionably exciting.
I loved what Esteban Cortazar did for Ungaro, and Peter Dundas wasn’t bad either (though he seems to be a much better fit over at Emilio Pucci, where he has done wonders with revamping the resort-favored label), but Deacon is somewhat of a curious choice. He’s a wonderful designer, as has been proven by all of his high-profile, well-deserved accolades, and I would love to see what he could do with a big budget that a label like Ungaro would afford him. But aesthetically, it doesn’t strike me as a fitting pairing. Then again, hearts and pasties didn’t really fit the Ungaro image either.
Deacon is an exceptionally talented designer and his background – which has including working with Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Tom Ford during his stint at Gucci, and Bottega Veneta – gives his work a unique wearable quirkiness. He is daring and original, which doesn’t fit the more classic designs I think of when picturing Ungaro, but perhaps that is what Ungaro needs. Also, there’s no doubting Deacon’s versatility given his many limited edition collaborations.
Here’s to hoping Giles Deacon will succeed in doing for Emanuel Ungaro what Stella McCartney achieved when revamping Chloe, and what Peter Dundas is so perfectly doing with his designs at Emilio Pucci.