So, the rumours were true after all: Giles, of the eponymous British label, is taking over at Emanuel Ungaro where Lindsay Lohan left off – and that’s not a phrase I ever thought I would be typing. According to The JCReport’s Twitter feed early Sunday morning, ‘It’s Official’.
Since the departure of the unknown Spanish designer Estrella Archs, who had the unfortunate job of co-helming the house’s design team alongside Ms Lohan, the gossip mill has been in overdrive. Some money had been on London-based Erdem Moralioglu to take over: his modern romanticism, ravishing dresses and love of florals would have meshed neatly with the French house’s heritage, but the inaugural BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund awarded to him last month made that unlikely.
Ungaro has been something of a poisoned chalice for its most recent incumbents: Vincent Darré and Peter Dundas lasted just two seasons each. Esteban Cortazar didn’t do so badly, especially for a kid in his early twenties plucked from near obscurity in Miami, but his three season run was over when (it’s rumoured) he clashed with ex-label CEO Mounir Moufarrige over Moufarrige’s desire to bring in La Lohan.
And we all know what happened to her at Ungaro. *Draws a veil over the whole sorry mess*.
Giles certainly has form of the kind the house desperately needs: British Designer of the Year in 2006, & winner of the ANDAM Grand Prix last year, he’s worked for Tom Ford at Gucci & for Bottega Veneta. Add to that a couple of competent collections for Daks, a successful handbag collaboration with Mulberry and an ongoing capsule collection for British High Street brand New Look.
His commercial sense & corporate experience twinned with his own taste for often irreverent, beautifully cut clothes and clever prints could be just what Ungaro’s present owner Asim Abdullah has searched for in vain over his past four appointments.
Given that Mr Deacon has been fast in danger of turning into the new Matthew Williamson – giving his house’s name to some frankly risible commercial collaborations (his camo print mineral water bottle holders for Isklar rivalled Williamson’s notepaper collection for newsagent WHSmith), a fat injection of French design house money obviously couldn’t come quick enough.
Vintage 80s Ungaro dress from Decades
UPDATE: Still no confirmation from either Deacon or Ungaro as of Monday 1722hrs GMT