Fashion loves celebrity. It does. That’s why when there is a paparazzi frenzy focused on someone on the front row, everyone’s heads crane to see who it is – everyone, even the hardest of fashion editors. Fashion gives celebrities the cover of their magazines, they put celebrities' fashion labels in the pages and will invite them to every launch they can think of. So why was everyone so outraged by little LA celebrity, Lindsay Lohan, stepping into designer’s shoes at Emanuel Ungaro? After all, Li-Lo has dipped her finger in fashion before, with her own range of leggings called 6126, plus she has graced the covers and has certainly racked up many, many column inches.
Well, the thing is, Li-Lo, bless her, has become something of a liability recently. While we still think of her fondly in The Parent Trap (amazing) and Mean Girls (amazing), she doesn’t have any cred as an actress left at the moment, nor does she even have cred as a girlfriend after all that alleged late night ‘stalking’ of Sam Ronson. So no one was going to give her cred as a serious designer – or 'artistic advisor' as Ungaro have titled her. And after yesterday’s debut collection, those fashion cynics had a point. The room was full of excited energy, but the knives were definitely out from the beginning. We looked around the room in anticipation of the arrival of Miley Cyrus or any other teen-celeb that received an invite, but alas they couldn’t have rsvp’d.
As the first micro-mini bandeau dress in Ungaro’s hot pint hit the catwalk, the critics’ claws were out. There followed a collection of minidresses, ruched leggings in tangerine and cobalt blue, asymmetric dresses, draped tailoring, prints and strong-shouldered jackets. Throughout ran a ‘heart’ theme, appearing as embellishment, print, cut-outs revealing crystal underneath and even heart-shaped pasties (hmm). The reviews will be vicious. Is that justified? Perhaps, but this was a highly commercial collection. It’s the clothes that Li-Lo and friends will wear at red-carpet Hollywood events. They might not be the type of customer that Emanuel Ungaro himself was aiming for before he retired in 2004, but they are a seriously moneyed-up generation. Lindsay will probably be out before the next season, leaving new designer, Estella Archs, to pick up the pieces. But the actress does have some fashion knowledge, (well, she has been shopping relentlessly since she last worked). An established French fashion house wasn’t the right move. But if H&M are thinking of doing another celebrity collaboration, Li-Lo is well worth consideration.