With an acid-splashed black runway and Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" turned up to deafening volume, Ungaro's elegant front-row ladies must have suspected that the classical couturier was having an identity crisis. Suspicions were confirmed as the first Avenue Montaigne-punk amazons pounded down the runway in rockabilly zoot jackets with second-skin red-and-black "stonewash" jeans, teetering on glitter-toed clear-plastic spectator heels and glowering from behind their '70s tequila-sunrise sunglasses.
With an electric palette of hot pinks, poison yellows and the season's ubiquitous purples (all combined at one point in a delirious camouflage print), Ungaro indulged in a psychedelic disco paradecomplete with beaded chiffon ponchos, asymmetric handkerchief hems, bright jersey mini dresses and '70s-style rock-chick beaded pantsuits. Of course, Ungaro has many of these great references in his own archives, but the fine gold chains swagged like an admiral's decorations across a scarlet pantsuit, or forming a peek-a-boo disco top, looked like they had strayed from last season's Chloé runway.
Young-at-heart mothers hitting their mid-life crises might respond to the modern idea of deconstructing their wardrobe pieces and mixing them up again with a hip new attitude, but their fashion-forward young daughters will love the real classics--like the purple-banded black on white pinstripe pantsuit and the superb new take on Rita Hayworth's knock-'em-dead Gilda gown, made sexy as only Ungaro knows how in black jersey.