Archive for April 2010
Happy birthday, Chloris Leachman. Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found you . . .
I started to panic during last night’s elimination on “America’s Next Top Model” when Jessica joined Alasia in the bottom two. After seeing the previews allude to a poor performance by Alasia, I assumed that Jessica was going to be sent packing because we all know that the girl who appears to be vulnerable in the previews never goes home. Right?
Wrong! Tyra pulled one over on me! Alasia was finally shown the door after a couple of appearances in the bottom two. Jessica, meanwhile, continued to get the sort of edit that makes me believe that she’s going to win. Rather than appearing like a brat while the panel criticized her lack of facial expressions, Jessica seemed earnest and thankful when she was told by the judges that they believed she could be an edgier model. It’s that personal-growth story arc that Tyra loves to give her winner.
In other news, Raina’s legs are long, but a bit too jiggly, Angelea must be prettier in person than she is on camera, Krista doesn’t like to “smell like yesterday” and Alexandra’s skin is just as bad in person as it is in HD. And Auckland is lovely. I think I’d like to spend my winters enjoying their summers. Maybe I should become a famous Kiwi fashion designer. It’s not like I’d have much competition. Whoops! Did I type that?
Happy birthday, Celeste Holm. I often tell my friend Rusty that he’s the Karen Richards to my Margo Channing, but only because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. He’s really like the Baby Jane to my Blanche Hudson.
Everyone knows that I adore Giles Deacon. I’m just not sure how to take the news that he’s going to be taking over design duties at Emanuel Ungaro.
Recent business decisions at the label have been stupid — to say the least — and stupid is not a word I would associate with Deacon. In fact, I incessantly praise him for being clever without being an insufferable show-off. In an industry full of designers who give bad interviews where they parrot the words of the journalists who hype them, Deacon is a rare bird. He reminds me a lot of my other favorite designer of the past few seasons: Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta. It’s no surprise that this pair of modest, masterful brand-builders studied at the altar of Tom Ford, the man who reinvented brand building for the modern generation.
When I first heard the rumor, I said to myself “Giles Deacon is totally wrong for Ungaro.” But I guess the Ungaro brand is damaged beyond recognition. I can tell you what I think of when I hear the name “Emanuel Ungaro.” I recall this ad for Diva perfume from 1983. It was in every magazine, over and over again, for a few years. Because of the ad, I equated the Ungaro name with over-the-top luxury; the world I saw when I watched “Dynasty.” Once “Fashion File” and “Fashion Television” began to air, the label became more familiar to me as an ultrafeminine luxury line. It was flowy, floriferous and overwrought, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst more contemporary brands, especially as the 90s became more and more minimal.
By the turn of the century, however, I started to see a resurgence in the Ungaro style. Fashion was having a Boho moment, and the designer’s best work often radiated a rich hippie vibe (like Cameron Diaz’s infamous gown from the 2002 Oscar red carpet). Frankly, it’s the look I associate with Rachel Zoe’s greatest hits from the past decade. Unfortunately, most fashion-savvy women would say the same thing if they saw a classic Ungaro gown on the red carpet. Nowadays, Rachel Zoe’s name is gold and Emanuel Ungaro’s name is mud.
Emanuel Ungaro isn’t to blame. The man retired in 2004, and a new owner has been calling the shots since 2005. It’s this man, Asim Abdullah, who has made the brand name synonymous with failure. When does anyone mention the label unless it’s to say something derogatory? You know you’ve made some bad business decisions when . . .
So I guess I’m happy to hear that Giles Deacon is ready to reinvent Emanuel Ungaro for a new generation. I’m not sure what he’s got planned for the brand, but I’m sure he didn’t come cheap. Hopefully, Deacon learned something from Tom Ford and the Gucci Group and didn’t settle for anything less than 50%. If this venture is successful, it could be one the greatest collaborations in the history of fashion. Yes, I have that much faith in Deacon.
Happy birthday, Jessica Alba. This photo would be far more interesting if the two of you were rumored to be an item. Let me make a few calls . . .
Happy birthday, Nigel Barker. I also have to get my dog drunk before she’ll smile with her eyes.
Word on the street is that Lorenzo Martone and Marc Jacobs have split! This must be what it sounds like when doves cry!
I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there’s any truth to the rumors. In the meantime, let’s pray that this tragic development doesn’t affect Jacobs’ creative process. We don’t want him to send a hideous collection down the runway because he’s designing for too many labels while his personal life is falling apart. Whoops! Too late!