The wall of cameras at the end of the runway was double the size it was last season, and there was an impressive turnout of industry professionals and curious onlookers at Ungaro today. In a bid for easy headlines, CEO Mounir Moufarrige recently replaced Esteban Cortazar with an unusual team: the little-known Spanish designer Estrella Archs and, as "artistic adviser," the actress turned self-bronzer entrepreneur Lindsay Lohan. Would the move turn out to be a bit of counterintuitive brilliance—the Olsens, after all, have had a bona fide hit with The Row—or would the results be as embarrassing as a streaky orange fake tan?
In separate interviews a couple of days before the show, Archs discussed reviving the DNA and Lohan mentioned injecting a bit of youth into the brand—not necessarily mutually exclusive notions for a label that was beloved by eighties party girls. The show opened on an up note, with a strapless fuchsia plissé minidress—two Ungaro signatures rolled into one—and Archs turned the house's polka dots into a charming enough heart print on colorful sequined jackets. So far, not so bad…but it wasn't destined to last.
This quickly devolved into a bad joke of a fashion show, one with questionable color combinations, "bad eighties" draped silk jackets and drop-crotch pants, old-fashioned and ill-judged fur stoles, and, yes, tasteless sequin pasties. To top it off, the fabrics and the construction lacked the finesse you expect from a famous Avenue Montaigne brand.
To be fair, Archs had just about a month to design the collection. But both she and Lohan (if she sticks around long enough) will have to work a lot harder next time to impress the editors and buyers who witnessed this disappointing debut.