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Emanuel Ungaro Womenswear S/S11

A fusion between Giles Deacon and Ungaro's archive made for a delightful debut

Ungaro's recent downfall into confusion thanks to a merry-go-round of inappropriate creative directors (an understatement perhaps with regards to a certain LiLo) meant anticipation of Giles Deacon's debut for the Parisian house was sky high. Good thing that the debut took place in presentation form at the Parc Andre Citroen where everyone could get a good look at everything. The sumptuous set of vivid blooms covering a piled up Mini and Volkswagen van on a daisy shaped green lawn was the lush backdrop to which a varied cast of models (and Anna Dello Russo!) would frolic against. Let's simile it up here - frou frou, fun and flirty - was the instant impression which meant we had nothing much to dissect and instead, the majority of people clasped their hands together and pronounced how refreshing it was not to have to mull over a collection as though it were a puzzle. Dresses were the mainstay of the collection, most of which were adorned with feathers, lace, sparkles and floral motifs and like the mood of the collection, the palette was lightened to uplifting pastels that took on heavy embellishment well.

Giles' own aesthetic had to manifest somehow and even though, for the most part, he was paying respect and celebrating the house codes of Emanuel Ungaro, he brought a playfulness with a pastel feathered sheep that was Anna Dello Russo's companion for the show, enlarged prints shot with neon lines and floral cut-outs in a babydoll dress. Associated cliches with the words 'chic' and 'ladylike' have been spun into fun in the hands of Deacon, which means they'll have a broader appeal beyond the Ungaro customer of the past, and there seems to not be much more to say other than to beam broadly at the pending proper revival of Ungaro. There's even word of haute couture making a comeback with one or two pieces in this collection available for couture requests.

Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for your first collection for Ungaro
Giles Deacon:
I wanted to get into the way Monsieur Ungaro designed and I did a lot of archive research - they have an amazing archive - to get the feeling of that woman and to get to those sexual, sensual clothes that he was synonymous with and to do my interpretation of it for now. It was a whole new world for me. It was important to focus on the Parisian side of Ungaro for the collection. It was great to get the spirit of it - I wanted it to be very Ungaro. This are spontaneous clothes and it's great to have this lack of intellectualism in the collection.

Dazed Digital: Whilst it's a very different proposition to your own collections, was there a Giles signature?
Giles Deacon:
You have to. It's me designing. The colour, the prints - I'm not going to do dinosaurs of course.

Dazed Digital: There is a sheep!
Giles Deacon:
Yes, there's a sheep! Anna Dello Russo with a sheep that was made in the haute couture atelier is very funny.

Dazed Digital: The casting was pretty varied and star-studded - why was that?
Giles Deacon:
I wanted strong girls. It's nice to have women, a variety of women having fun here.