Emanuel Ungaro Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 Paris

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Emanuel Ungaro Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 Paris

Fausto Puglisi, latest in a revolving door list of artistic directors at Ungaro, made quite an impression for the debut show of his own brand in Milan, which showed a strong, personal aesthetic; there were high hopes for what he would show today in Paris for a brand that’s been so defamed, it resorted to celebrity artistic direction at one point.

And yes, as expected, there were some outstanding looks, such as the black suit with ruffles climbing up the leg, or all those sheer blouses that gave a sultry yet chic look. Pretty flirty numbers will no doubt find their clientele. There was the sense that the Italian designer had again gone into the archives of the brand and unearthed source material that he interpreted through his own singular vision.

But Italian brashness and French party-girls seems to have been a rather strange cocktail, one that has a mouthwash-green color and leaves a funny taste. Polka dots and stripes, sheer panels and Swarovski, Ungaro’s 80s party girl and Puglisi’s rock-chic chick, the mishmash of what reads like a shipping manifesto for a fabric broker, fell well short of the mark. And while a half-bejeweled skirt may sound like a tempting proposal, how are we meant to feel about a silhouette that is a sheer top with stripes of polka dots paired with a skirt that has a cargo pocket, stripes, dots, a few ruffles and a zippered slit right up to there (yes, that’s ONE outfit)?

It actually worked much better when the designer scaled back. The clever diagonal splicing visible on a little shift dress is promising, as are the de-rigueur shorts – one of summer 14’s key pieces. But in trying too hard, he drowned out the perfection of silhouettes like that slouchy blue ribbed-collar shrug paired with ruffled trousers. And that’s too bad, because Puglisi’s definitely got an eye for cool pairings of today.