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Thursday, 15 October 2009

Lindsay Lohan Makes Major Fashion Failure

Amidst all the gossip and gushing about great new designs and exciting collections, there's a fair amount of scandal to be found at a given Paris Fashion Week event, as most devotees of the traditional show are well aware. This year, the award for the most talked about, and perhaps most vehemently criticized (as in, ever, period) aspect of the show undeniably goes to Lindsay Lohan's fashion flop at luxury design house Ungaro. Red flags went up across the industry nearly a month before the event when the news of Lohan's involvement with the traditionally high-fashion firm was released. Critics wondered what the design company must have been thinking, while others suggested that the move was an affront to the professionals who spent their careers involved in serious design work. The offense? Ungaro hired Lohan to consult on the new collection as an assistant to its newly-commissioned head designer, Estrella Archs.

Lindsay Lohan and Estrella Archs at Ungaro

There are a number of theories as to why Ungaro may have made its controversial move, but a number of gossipers have noted that asking a celebrity to endorse a brand is fairly common in the fashion world. Of course, design houses usually restrict the arrangement to the realm of putting on a pretty face; celebrities might feature prominently in advertisement campaigns, or might make a testimonial or branding contribution through a signature or the lending of their name. But ask a celebrity -–especially one as hotly contested as Lindsay Lohan-- to actually do the design work, and mouths are likely to drop open.
That's precisely what happened at the showing of the latest Ungaro collection at Paris Fashion Week, but the astonishment was clearly not leaning towards the positive. Critics had a veritable field day with the bright and “gaudy” designs on parade, describing the collection as lacking invention and breaking the rules of form and color -–but in a decidedly bad way. While some industry rags attempted to maintain a sense of sympathy for Lohan, the mood online and in print since the event has been distinctly vicious, something that has spawned the occasional commentator to suggest that the failed campaign may signal a change in direction for fashion houses that have been taking advantage of celebrity involvement.
It may be the case that Ungaro was simply looking to safeguard its name and assets during an especially turbulent economy, but if this is true, it would appear that the design studio, which has typically catered to high-end fashionistas and those with a deep purse and an even deeper appetite for couture, has effectively caused its own worst nightmare. While glowing reviews about other shows at Paris Fashion Week highlight the insight and talents of Ungaro's friends and competitors, the label itself is likely to hear nothing but incredulity for the time being. Frankly, we're just glad that Lohan kept her designing “prowess” out of the field of costume jewellery -–there aren't any flops or faux pas here.

a design by Lohan for Ungaro

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