Heart-shaped earrings added a fun, cheap-and-cheerful touch of frivolity. Little did we realise they were a doom-laden portent of what was to come.
The crush at Emanuel Ungaro was epic, quite possibly one of the worst of the week. Why? Because of Lindsay Lohan, a celebrity who, rather than gracing the front-row, has gone behind-the-scenes to become 'artistic adviser' to the beleaguered fashion label. This wheeze may sound inane, even insane, but it comes from the mind of Mounir Moufarrige, the man who mooted an untried designer with the similarly star-studded name of McCartney to dust off French fashion house Chloe back in 1997. With McCartney's subsequent own-name company announcing a shocking 78% rise in profits for the last fiscal year (in this economic climate, that ranks right up there with the immaculate conception) and her former Chloe assistant Phoebe Philo's revived Celine the must-see ticket of the week, Moufarrige was evidently banking on past success. It started out relatively well - that all-important first outfit was a bubblegum-pink chiffon minidress, barely covering the crotch and strapped up with fuchsia elastic banding. A bit 2001, granted, but still nothing too frightening or new, while the plastic heart-shaped earrings added a fun, cheap-and-cheerful touch of frivolity. Little did we realise they were a doom-laden portent of what was to come. Hearts popped up over everything, patterning short little jersey skirts, forming misshapen jacket lapels, sequinned across the buttocks of jeans and even as crystal pasties just about preserving the models' dignity. Dignity, alas, was in short supply - those jeans, for example, were about as decorous as spraypaint, and in palm frond-spewed white denim, half as forgiving. Colour clashed hideously: chartreuse against magenta against violet, evidently aiming for something of Ungaro's eclectic, masterful mix-and-match mélange. Likewise, the shapes - oscillating between clingfilm tight and maternity wear, sometimes in a single outfit. Tasseled satin bags in guess-what-shape looked like a two-a-penny gift-with-purchase filched from an Avon counter in 1988. Imbecilic heart-shapes were plastered on foreheads. Although evidently expensive - both to produce and no doubt to retail - everything somehow managed to look cheap, tacky and sleazy, as if you would recoil at its touch. It was unforgivable. On every possible level, this collection was a disaster - to so great a degree, that it was difficult to know how to correctly apportion the blame. Does it lie with Lohan for her 'artistic advice', Moufarrige for recruiting her, or Estrella Archs, the little-acknowledged (and even less talented) designer currently behind the Ungaro line? In any event, the one person whose hand was entirely absent in this parade was the house's eponymous founder. Emanuel Ungaro must wish he were dead, if only to have a grave to turn over in after seeing this travesty of a collection bearing his name.