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.