News & Runway

Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2012 Runway Review

In August of last year, Cathy Horyn of the New York Times declared the ‘Fall of the House of Ungaro.’ One would hope that with a track record of bad decisions, both in terms of creative talent and investment opportunities, the house would turn itself around; unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet. In the 80s and 90s you couldn’t walk ten feet in a department store without tripping over an Ungaro, but their cult popularity wore off as women worried less about dressing for their man and more about dressing for themselves. This is a house that’s seen talent such as Peter Dundas, Giambattista Valli, and most recently Giles Deacon in the designer’s chair but in spite of the designers’ aptitude, the house has yet to turn around. This season, we saw a designer-less collection, in spite of Jeanne Labib-Lamour’s finale bow.

The collection relied on the brand’s 80s and 90s roots with typically sexy ladies of leisure in bold prints and simple designs. Fluttering dresses, saturated colors, and easy to wear separates made up most of the collection but it wasn’t that bad. There were some definite missteps but for the most part it was safe and wearable, well, as safe as Ungaro can be. You could tell that the collection was about the product, rather than the name, and ego, recognition of a designer, which is clearly the path to success for the label. The house has recruited a number of young talent with experience at the world’s foremost fashion houses to revitalize the brand; here's hoping it works.