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Emmanuel Ungaro

Emanuel Ungaro's Fashion Evolution

Tight bodices and full on fun skirts. Shiny fabrics with plenty of glitz and glam. One trademark is silk plisse, wrapped bandage-like around the figure, emphasising a girl's curves flirtatiously in neon brights and ultra violets. Ungaro’s muse is the most fun girl at the party, but has a kind temperament, a sweet tooth and a tendency towards fits of the giggles.

The original Ungaro was born in Aix-en-Provence to Italian parents. He sewed his way through childhood then moved to Paris, where he later became Cristobel Balenciaga’s assistant. With this apprenticeship completed, followed by time at Correge, he opened his own fashion house in Paris in 1965.  As the dresses sold so well, the Ungaro brand expanded to encompass menswear, accessories and several fragrances over the years.

The label was taken over by the Ferragamo group in 1996 and then Global Asset Capital in 2003. Apart from Ungaro’s first successor as designer, Giambattista Valli, the position has been occupied by various designers, at one point an alliance between Spanish designer Estrella Archs and Hollywood tearaway Lindsay Lohan, whose efforts received somewhat qualified praise from the press. (It was a disaster!) Later ructions at the brand led to the departure of CEO Mounir Moufarrige in 2009. The fashion press were delighted with the news that Brit favourite, Giles Deacon would be taking up the position in May 2011, and he created two successful collections, including one that featured fashion editor and muse Anna Dello Russo as a model clutching a toy lamb – but parted from the company a little after a year, in September 2011. Subsequent collections are the work of rather lower-profile designer, Jeanne Labib-Lamour, and the collections are created, according to the brand as ‘the result of conscientious teamwork.’

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