Emanuel Ungaro S/S 2010 / PFW / Day five

Lindsay, it’s time to get serious about reviving the acting career. After just one season, one show, Mounir Moufarrige’s Lindsay-plus-one experiment is off to a troubled start. Lindsay Lohan, the house’s “artistic advisor,” and designer Estrella Archs, (who probably got the job in part for her willingness to sketch in Lohan’s shadow, and probably took it for its high-profile heritage), made their joint debut on Sunday in an effort that was, quite simply, an embarrassment.

To be fair, there was something of a “Mean Girls” motif at play. The fashion world, or at least its old-fashioned, traditional arm, greeted the Lohan appointment with endless snickers and rolled eyes. Its members expected, perhaps even hoped for, the proverbial train wreck. And so it came, a collision of fashion, controversial celebrity and massive publicity that resulted in the most frenzied door scene we’ve seen in years, especially at the geezer venue Carrousel du Louvre, as well as a beefed-up photographers’ pit.

As for the clothes, they looked cheesy and dated, as has often been the case chez Ungaro during the post-Emanuel revolving door of designers. Hot pink, orange and flashy, with an overworked heart motif relentless in its execution, the collection displayed none of the promised younger side Lohan was supposed to deliver. Nor in a million years would one guess that the lineup was designed by one young woman and “creative directed” by another. Glitter heart pasties all around, ladies?

As for Lohan, she’ll weather the criticism, hardly her first or her juiciest, and move on when her contract allows. But Archs has her work cut out for her. Backstage after the show, she said the collection “had to be designed very quickly.” Perhaps that was the problem. 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.)

No one ever said fashion design is brain surgery. It’s a different discipline altogether. But it is indeed a discipline and a commercial art, a fact variously muted and underscored by the celebrity infiltration of the last decade. And like brain surgery — yes, like brain surgery and all disciplines at which people work for years to develop proficiency — it has its rare geniuses and capable practitioners, all of whom must possess talent, skill and dedication. Being a young, pretty, controversial woman who looks good in clothes and photo ops just isn’t enough.

© by WWD / Photos by Giovanni Giannoni

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