The clothes were as light-hearted as the setting, whips of silk in milkshake pastels draped around the figure, inset with lace, splashed with crystal and ringed with feathers.
There are some collections you labour over for hours, trying to unravel every nuance of the designer's vision to understand its meaning entirely. Then there are some collections you just get straight away, no thought required. That doesn't mean the latter are somehow inferior to the former - take Giles Deacon's neat, sweet and terribly petite debut collection for the beleagured house of Ungaro, a collection of unabashedly pretty party frocks for girls who just want to have fun.
Rather than showing formally, Deacon scattered his Ungaro girls across a daisy-shaped lawn installation, with a few Jeff Koons style flower-stuffed bunny rabbit sculptures and vintage cars for good effect. The clothes were as light-hearted as the setting, whips of silk in milkshake pastels draped around the figure, inset with lace, splashed with crystal and ringed with feathers. Those are something of a house signature at Ungaro, and Deacon used them to great effect, wafting from heavily-worked guipure suits or forming frothy skirts. A few stabs at daywear reminded one of Ungaro's sixties origins: the pretty print blouse and daisy-buttoned skirt in mint could have been late sixties Chanel, and the rigid line of a collarless knee-length boat nodded sagely to Monsieur Ungaro's enviable past role as apprentice to Balenciaga.
That may all sound straightforward, but as Ungaro's past designers have proved, this kind of macaroon-light feminine frippery is fiendishly difficult to get the hang of. This show was about distancing Deacon from his predecessors and stamping his identity on Ungaro. This collection was a perfect, assured first step, displaying every aspect of this unusual marriage of Paris' undeniable chic, Ungaro's Italian sensuality, and Deacon's irrepressible British quirkiness. How will Ungaro fans respond? Look no further than newly-minted street style icon Anna Dello Russo, a mature, independently wealthy woman who loves fashion, and has fun with it. She modelled in Deacon's presentation as the embodiment of his perfect Ungaro client, and certainly seemed to be having the time of her life. That was always what Ungaro's clothes were about. His legacy, it seems, is finally in safe hands.