Yesterday the house of Emanuel Ungaro presented the first collection designed by Estrella Archs under the artistic advisement of Lindsay Lohan, whose multiyear contract with the house is reportedly worth millions. The fashion world laughed when Lindsay's appointment was announced — and we can all but hear their saddened chortling from this coast the morning after her Paris disaster. You see, while we in the United States are somewhat used to celebrities starting fashion lines that may even become successful (Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, etc.), Europeans are not. Of course the fashion world as a whole is snobby, too, but it probably has a right to be when a troubled 23-year-old actress convinces a storied European house to send glittery heart-shaped nipple pasties down the runway. Those pasties left several in yesterday's audience "aghast," according to the Times. WWD called the collection "an embarrassment," adding it looked "cheesy and dated" with an "overworked" heart motif. Lohan, the paper adds, failed to infuse the label with a more youthful sensibility, which was one reason Ungaro CEO Mounir Moufarrige said he hired her (after her publicity-generating power).
The Times had the pleasure of hanging out with Lohan in the Ungaro office:
The day before the show, Ms. Lohan was staring at herself in a mirror in Ungaro’s grand offices on the Avenue Montaigne, a stone’s throw from the ateliers of Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy and other famous French labels. She picked up a black and white scarf and tied it around her head, then replaced it with a black one, and then clumsily stuck a red sequin-covered heart to the side of her head while a team of designers watched her...
“This is just so cool,” Ms. Lohan said, turning her attention to a white minidress splattered with sequins. “It needs more rhinestones, just so it pops.” Off to the seamstress it went. Pointing to another white dress, she said: “I call it Michelle Pfeifer in ‘Scarface.’ I was just in my office sketching for next season. I was here until, like, one o’clock last night.”
Did we not tell you she was working hard? Anyway, designer Estrella Archs said backstage after the show the collection "had to be designed very quickly." But that was hardly an excuse in the eyes of the fashion press. WWD adds:
This storied house has been in disarray for years, and though Archs’ debut provided no indication that she’s up to the challenge, she should be given the chance to find out without a younger, nonskilled judge with theoretical veto power hovering about. (Let’s just say the ladies’ joint bow didn’t radiate chemistry.)
Perhaps Moufarrige is right to remain unfazed following the terrible reviews of this show (he was surprised they weren't worse, actually). If Lohan's debut has led to Mean Girls on the runway — an ingenious, spectacular new melding of every woman's favorite things, bitchery and fashion — he at least has a successful movie script in the works if his clothes don't sell despite all this newfound publicity. Lindsay can even play herself and revive her acting career!
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