For the first time since establishing his eponymous
fashion house in 1965, Emanuel Ungaro did not take a
bow at the end of his show. Monsieur Ungaro has left
his ready-to-wear line in the hands of creative
director Giambattista Valli, and will now be
directly responsible only for couture.
Valli's first effort was heavy on high-glamour '80s references. Trousers were baggy and pegged, jeans were covered in tulle, and jersey dresses were lavished with cascades of crystal pearls or printed with faces that could have been pulled from the pages of Vogue. It was the simpler pieces, however, that worked best. Valli's linen pantsuits and delicately embroidered muslin dresses, for example, were far more subtle and convincing than his awkward corset ensembles.
Valli has worked with Ungaro for several seasons now, and has taken important steps to update the label. With a bit more time, he should be able to hit a comfortable, consistent stride.