Giles Deacon: New ready-to-wear designer at Ungaro

26May10

Ungaro may seem “a poisoned chalice,” as one of my fashion sisters in England called the Paris house, but this is an industry that dauntlessly recovers from bad taste. If my count is accurate, Giles Deacon is now the sixth ready-to-wear designer at Ungaro in the past decade (and I’m not counting the very brief and strange Lindsay Lohan episode). That’s a lot of designers trying to give a modern look to a label known for prints and a zesty femininity.

Mr. Deacon is well liked and reasonably well known in England, where he started his business in 2003, and his clothes have a quirky elegance. But many young-uns have busted out since then and the world keeps changing daily. Fashion folks point to the success of Balenciaga and Balmain — very different businesses but examples nonetheless of old houses that have been re-energized.

And certainly Balmain in the post-Oscar de la Renta era had hit a real slide before Christophe Decarnin took over. Ungaro seems to have ample fashion legacy. It has a fancy Paris address. Above all, it has a name. Now let’s see what Mr. Deacon can do with these elements. He will have the help of his friend Katie Grand, the stylist and editor.

Tip CATHY HORYN

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