Emanuel Ungaro will forever be remembered for his ’80s pomp and poufs… so says the tee shirt collector and fashion maven and supposed authority Nicole Phelps! Here’s the problem, Ungaro will be remembered for overtly sexy, shirred, draped, hyper feminine clothes, polka dots, florals, peplums, body hugging second skin dresses, a riot of color and pattern, cabans and a host of other characteristics but alas not a pouf in sight. Phelps must have Ungaro confused with Lacroix and I am not equipped to explain the pomp part unless of course pomp means incredible statement making clothes... which I doubt!
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No matter how inaccurate the opening assessment, Fausto Puglisi is like the little train that could! He keeps trying but he never pulls into the station. I can assure you that one descriptor that was never applied to the work of Emanuel Ungaro is matronly; Not only matronly in the most obvious ways but boring as well which is another word that has never been used to describe Ungaro. Long ago when I was a buyer, my mentor boss, a woman, instilled in me that women who buy these clothes wanna get laid well that aint happening here in a bomber jacket or some printed shirtwaist dress.
It is incomprehensible to me that these heritage brands have huge archives from which to work and yet their designers fail to hit the mark season after season by trying to reinvent the wheel. I understand moving forward but to me this is moving backward to cuffed gauchos and fur trimmed coats and amazingly stuck on those freakin bomber jackets that have flooded every retail tier of fashion. Doncha think it’s time to quit the bomber and move on or go back... go anywhere but there! The below the knee looks compound the felonies and a deep vee neck on “uniform” looking dress does not read sexy, it reads who cares or where the underpinnings or why does that day dress have such a low cut neck.
So let’s say that no matter which of the 2 decades Puglisi thinks he is referencing... 70s or 80s... he obviously got it wrong. Those 2 decades were rife with fashion of every kind. There was excess in the extreme. Good taste, bad taste and every kind of sartorial display imaginable and he came up with boring. To say that fashion rocked in those days would be an understatement. Think Studio 54, trophy wives, wildly sex inspired clothes, think tarty, even think slutty, think nouveau society but never think ho hum.
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