Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ungaro: Stop blaming Lindsay Lohan


The skewering that Lindsay Lohan has gotten over the Ungaro collection is so absurdly misplaced and unfair. To pin the blame on her for a collection that has been called a bomb is just complete and utter bullshit. WWD and the Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes and countless others are hopelessly lost in their self righteous spitefulness. The blame game, the utter ruthlessness of the fashion press to create a typhoon in a tote bag, is the essence of gutter press. This is not to say brilliance happened that day on that catwalk, but neither was it Lindsay who was solely responsible.

Let's back up a second. When it was announced by CEO, Mounir Moufarrige, that Lindsay would act as Artistic Advisor(NOT Director) to Estaban Cortazar, the collection's designer and creative director, he quit. That was the beginning of some very idiotic and sophomoric decisions. He had a wonderful job and increasing success and tossed it away in a fit of childishness.Obviously, Ms. Lohan wouldn't and couldn't design the collection. A suggestion here and there by her surely would have been followed with the approval of Cortazar and a committee of others. With half a brain he should have realized that she was purely a publicity stunt who would run her course in a season or two and the pie would remain all his. Sometimes(all the time), it pays to look farther than your own reflection to see that playing the game gets you more of what you want than if you walk out with nothing.

Cortazar's egotism and immaturity lost him a very good gig. Walking down the runway with Lindsay is not the worst 45 seconds in any one's life. It certainly didn't kill Estrella Archs, Cortazar's replacement. What offends me is that the deaf, dumb and blind press declared the collection a bomb and pinned it all on Lindsay. If it was a bomb, then it bombed because of the company director and the designer in charge. If the decisions made were so heinous they must be placed in the hands where they belong.

Lindsay wasn't there long enough to create a collection or kill one. If she was involved in half a dozen pieces that would be alot. Perhaps, her suggestion for heart motifs which ran through the collection or pasties on the model's breasts was not the most inspired idea. But there was a plethora of T&A all ove rthe runways and this was by no means the most ill-informed stylistic choice. Other snipes referred to ill chosen color combinations. I didn't see them. Every collection has it's Waterloo somewhere in the line-up and there were a few things that didn't add to the presentation, nor were they abominations. So where's the crime?

Estrella had exactly one month to put the collection together. We all know that 3 of those weeks at least had Lindsay firmly planted on U.S. soil or at least solidly sprawled in some U.S., V.I.P. section of a club far, far away from the workrooms of Ungaro. It's just sniping and blame gaming from editors who should be more mature and less self serving. It felt like everyone got together and decided to pan the show the minute it was announced that she would be a part of it.

The collection itself was not earth shattering or particularly bad. It definitely was no better or worse than any of the middling shows that crowded so many New York, Milan, London or Paris runways. The hypocrisy of editors like the phalanx from WWD and the ever annoying Suzy Menkes is just mind numbing. That mile high bang of Menkes, I'm convinced, is trying to hide an ever growing lump she received when a lighting beam landed on her head at a Michael Kors show many years back. That bang/lump seems to have a life all its own. Watching her fawning video on the NY Times blog "On The Runway", where she interviews the Rodarte /Mulleavy sisters at the uber-cool Collette emporium, was the last time I could take her seriously. She was cloying, macabre and sycophantic.Don't stand there and call their work Haute Couture and think that the knowledgeable public is going to tap your keg of Kool-Aid.

So let's consider cutting Lindsay some slack. She's not a designer. She's a decent actress with a ton of problems and no family that cares enough to help her. She could grow into her real art if she'd get out of her own way. The public chasing her to an early grave is a brutal and vicious act. We should all try walking the runway in her mile high platforms.

These photographs are proof that this collection was not so awful. Isn't that what these clueless retailers want? Commercial ,wearable clothes? This looks like it to me.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you write this, because my first reaction to seeing the photos last week was how wearable many of these designs were (adding a couple of inches to the skirts). My biggest objection is that there was hardly any design evident on the Ungaro runway, obviously because the spring show was thrown together so quickly. Frankly, it was much cleaner and less offensive than Louis Vuitton this time around.

I'd only take issue with your estimation that Moufarrige should have stayed. He may not have been consulted at all, and if one had to pick a celebrity "muse" artistic advisor, almost no one would pick Lindsay Lohan (maybe Lagerfeld would!). Still, I appreciate that you didn't leap on with the rest of the pack. You're always very thoughtful. Thanks.

Divalocity said...

I've been waiting patiently for your reviews of this collection. Don't forget to add Hilary Alexander of The Daily Telegraph to the mix, because she was blasting this collection all over the web. What I truly found puzzling from all the other so called fashion blogs- is that they mostly repeated what was written by these fashion critics and did not give their own personal reviews about the collection. They acted like a bunch of cowards and it showed the world what they truly are, totally unable to think for themselves unless they are allowed to by the fashion gods and goddesses.

StyleSpy said...

I agree, although I think my opinion on the Ungaro collection is slightly less favorable than yours. But after I looked at Archs's own collection that she presented in Paris, I wrote about the interesting questions it raised & answered. No one can seriously suppose that Lohan had all that much to do with the design of this collection. I'll give you that Cortazar could probably have waited out the Lohan visitation, but given Ungaro's recent history, it's very possible he would have left soon anyway. (Archs is the house's fifth designer since Ungaro himself retired in 2002.) If Ungaro sinks, I think Moufarrige is the one who should shoulder the blame.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that this was written. LiLo did not deserve all of the scorn and ridicule. The negative press seems to make the leap that she was appointed "head designer" or "creative director" instead of just an "artistic adviser". An adviser? Isn't that just a consultant...who makes recommendations that may or may not be followed by those who actually run the show? The young lady has enough problems of her own, and she already has a legion of critics clawing at her. Now we can add the fashion crowd to those who would kick her while she's down. Maybe it's a good thing that I put my fashion studies on hold midway through. The industry if full of madness! Madness!

Christa Weil said...

Bravo, Fluff, spot on. And I'd wear that white dress in a heartbeat. xx

texastrailerparktrash said...

What is with Suzy Menkes' hair anyway? Why should women take fashion advice from someone who looks like she has a weasel on her head?

I too wish Lindsay had better parents to help her through the rough spots. When your dad is best buds with Jon Gosselin and mom has her own reality show, you know you're up a creek when it comes to thoughtful parental advice.

Casey said...

Aaaahhh! The voice of sanity and reason! I agree with every word, especially the last part about Lindsay and her family.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!! you did it again. Finally, someone dares to say that Suzy is so so annoying!!! and watching her videos is like, please retire already!!! she is so tired and lifeless! i dont care she is been in the industry kissing asses! thank you, thank you, thank you Emperor! you are the man!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, agree, Fluff. I read the reviews before I looked at the collection and from the words that cropped up ("vulgar" being one) I was expecting to see something outlandlishl -- even entertainingly -- bad. Instead I saw a ton of salable if unremarkable pieces that merited no stronger reaction than a shrug. Vulgarity? There was far more of it at Versace, and yet somehow these same "journalists" couldn't fawn over that collection enough.

LuLu W-L said...

You DO tell it like it is cat. I too read the negative reviews first and then went over to style.com to check out the collection myself. The result - meh - not earth shattering, but I wouldn't call the collection soul-less like Menkes did. And any faults in the collection certainly weren't Lohan's doing. The house basically hired her as a scapegoat lest the reviews go bad, as they most surely did. And all negative publicity was then deferred from Ungaro to Lohan. So really savvy PR on Ungaro's part and the fashion press ate it out of the hand. Can't say that I'm surprised.

Faire said...

I'm really glad you said this. Lohan, hate her or love her, attracts attention. This is why she was given this position. In a way, I feel as if she is being used by yet another person. Maybe she has talent. Maybe she doesn't. That, doesn't really matter anymore does it? She attracts attention. It says a lot about the industry right now.

We need attention. Rather than focus on design and craft, let's chase the tabloids.

Anonymous said...

So true... First time anyone has said this. I couldn't believe the way the press flipped. So spineless. Before the show the whole world was backing it like it was going to change the industry. I remember WWD and Menkes both encouraging LL and Archs and how they could turn around the brand.

Post fashion show - WWD hits one bad article from their bipolar-disorder department and everyone else, including Menkes, bowed down to whatever WWD says, whatever WWD does.

Completely spinless.

Amber said...

My anger at Lindsay's appointment was not at Lindsay, but at Mounir Moufarrige for falling into the trap of celebrity. It's so disheartening to know that aside from myself, there are so many others waiting for our chance, and working so hard, and for what? To be overlooked in an Industry that advances those who have famous parents and swoons over the talentless wonders. It's such bullshit and that's where my anger comes from. I do understand the editor's misplaced anger.

Luke said...

I enjoy your blog. I agree that Lindsay Lohan was a type of scapegoat.

misskatie said...

i really appreiate your perspective in this Lindsay Lohan fashion experiment (i work in "fast-fashion"--so this is not my world--but it trickles down)-specifically---that the designer should have seen the bigger picture and embraced this "new way of advertizing" ie. get celebrities to wear your stuff, make a celebrity create a spectacle in the press = get more sales....without knowing anything about this designer, or his bosses @ Ungaro--i think you tapped into something DEEPER and more profound with your observations....i took from your words.....embrace the new, don't be stubborn and go with the flow...it COULD lead to an interesting and unexpected place. by the way--if you pick up a Japanese teen mag--they are ALL OVER the Lindsay Lohan/ Nicole Ritche look.

Anonymous said...

While you have every right to voice your opinion, it was very indecent of you to make a comment on Suzy Menkes' personal appearance! Who ever said that designers and critics need to look ravishing? And ravishing as per whose standards? The very fact that she has scaled this high speaks of her calibre and it's no big surprise that with this attitude of yours you are not part of the movers and shakers of the fashion industry!Sad little cat!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Estaban quit...what an idiot considering how many are being FORCED out of head designerships.

LOL...I'm REALLY behind. I need to catch up. Fashion never sleeps.

brooksie

Anonymous said...

Fluff...you know my position on younguns being given gigs like this. It's a recipe for disaster! Nobody should be surprised.

Reminds me of a certain NYC designer in the early 90s. ;)

brooksie