EVERYONE’S A CRITIC: “I think the noise level around Lindsay will be very, very big,” Ungaro chief executive Mounir Moufarrige predicted to WWD a little less than a month ago, when it was announced the starlet would be “artistic adviser” to the house. And judging by the post-show chatter, he was right. Commenters on WWD.com, responding to WWD’s negative review of Lindsay Lohan’s debut at the fashion house, were divided about evenly on both sides. Lohan had plenty of defenders, most of the let-the-poor-girl-be variety. “A few of the designs aren’t bad,” one remarked. “They’re wearable. And young. And fun. Give the girl a break.” Another cautioned against comparing the 23-year-old with her Paris counterparts: “Of course this is not ‘Galliano’ couture dripped with drama and experience but I see the inspired ‘youthfullness’ [sic] expressed through its colors and simplicity in lines.”
Meanwhile, her detractors were as cutting as “Mean Girls’” Regina George. “The hearts and pasties make me think that this collection was designed by a 18-year-old in 1987,” was one bon mot. Said another, “The nail in Ungaro’s coffin.” And perhaps most damning: “I could see any of these pieces in the bottom three at a ‘Project Runway’ challenge.”
This story first appeared in the October 6, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Commenter Lisa had a peacemaking proposal: “Lets [sic] let designers design, actors act, writers write and models model. Wouldn’t that be refreshing?”
LADIES’ NIGHT: Note to the paparazzi: Bring a wide-angle lens to Wednesday’s Louis Vuitton show. Word has it the French house is corralling an impressive front row said to include Freida Pinto, Leighton Meester, Camilla Belle, Zoe Saldana, Virginie Ledoyen, Rinko Kikuchi, Gong Lee, Michelle Yeoh, Daisy Lowe and Marie-Ange Casta. The ladies are also expected at Vuitton’s party to unveil its high jewelry line, and groove to DJs Pedro Winter and Calvin Harris.
FLESH TONES: Thanks to photographer Juergen Teller, magnificent nudes by Ingres, Delacroix and Boucher aren’t the only naked ladies to be seen at Paris’ most famous museum. “I am preparing a book with photos featuring Raquel Zimmermann and Charlotte Rampling nude at the Louvre,” the photographer disclosed Monday at the Marc Jacobs boutique, where he signed the 576-page tome chronicling his work for the American designer between 1998 and 2009.
SHOULDER JEWELS: Tom Binns, known for his irreverent and inventive jewelry designs, is branching into leather goods for spring, with the release of a white leather bag covered in punk metal studs. It comes in three sizes and retails from around $650 to $1,850. New hook-ups include a limited edition “Sunday bag,” designed in collaboration with Corto Moltedo, that’s hung with gold crucifix necklaces, as well as a soccer-themed line of jewelry and bags for Puma, to be released for the World Cup. Busy Binns has also whipped up a collection of wearable sculptures that will be shown at Art Basel Miami in December. The surreal, tongue-in-cheek creations include a necklace hung with a giant spoon full of mini lightbulbs.
ROYAL TREATMENT: An exhibition opening Wednesday called “Le trousseau de la Reine de Mai — Marie-José de Savoie” at Paris’ Mona Bismark Foundation displays the sublime ceremonial court mantles and gowns included in the May Queen’s wedding chest. Marie-José of Belgium got that nickname thanks to her 24-day reign as Queen Consort of Italy in 1946. Many of her gowns, made by royal Italian dressmakers and which are on public display for the first time, have designs that give a nod to French designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Madeleine Vionnet and Paul Poiret. Hubert de Givenchy was the exhibit’s scenographer. Jay Lane created the jewelry on display and Stéphane Marant, the tiaras and accessories. It runs through Dec. 12.
BROOKS GOES MAD: Men want to be Don Draper, so it was only a matter of time and business acumen before somebody launched clothing based on the most dashing and emotionally unavailable character in “Mad Men.”
The Emmy-winning show’s costume director, Janie Bryant, has teamed up with Brooks Brothers to create a “Mad Men” edition suit inspired by Draper and the other well-dressed cads at fictional ad firm Sterling Cooper. The limited run of suits — only 250 will be made — hit 10 Brooks Brothers doors and brooksbrothers.com on Oct. 19 and will be available through the show’s season finale on Nov. 8.
The collaboration highlights the growing relationship between the retailer and the hit show. For the first two seasons, Brooks supplied suits to “Mad Men.” This season, Brooks produced custom suits, ties and shirts designed by Bryant and based on the retailer’s archives.
Brooks is also planning to publicize the partnership via a stand-alone Web site that will also launch on the 19th.
INNER PIECE: With undies galore masquerading as clothing on Paris runways, model Natalia Vodianova couldn’t be more tickled as it’s a concept she’s applied to her own dance-inspired collection for the Etam chain, which goes under the Collection Natalia label. “It’s so exciting, I’m totally with it. A lot of the pieces I’ve done can be worn as outerwear,” she said Monday in a Crillon hotel suite, pulling a taupe satin bodysuit off the rack that she’d pair “with an open suit jacket and pearls.”