Paris Editor Gabriela Billini
Paris Editor Gabriela Billini
Gabriela is a non-native New Yorker who travels the world to understand why people wear what they wear and how. She is an independent fashion reporter, trend chaser, and self-proclaimed beatnik.

Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2018: Paris Fashion Week

Emanuel Ungaro Paris Fashion Week SS18

There was much anticipation for this season’s Ungaro show, considering the new Italian creative director Marco Colagrossi at the helm since March, and the issue of Ungaro having had to cancel their Fall 2017 show.

Needless to say, the audience had a certain level of expectations. Many were not disappointed.

Emanuel Ungaro: Paris Fashion Week SS18

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There’s something about chiffon and organza that screams delicacy. You can find such fabrics in paintings of royals across Paris, usually delicately laced over women in reclining poses. Over at the Emanuel Ungaro runway show, these gentle fabrics were used, but certainly not in an innocent, demure way. Colagrossi made it a point to deliver a distinct contrast between the traditional representation of these fabrics and today’s lady.

these gentle fabrics were used, but certainly not in an innocent, demure way

Typically glamorous, luxurious fabrics were made young, adapted to fit a more practical lifestyle and accommodating a woman with diverse interests. The designer even left some intentionally rough edges, perhaps to suggest an unfinished, more wild and unstructured nature.

Color was key for SS ’18, with deep purples and blues paired together to match, and a few vibrant prints that just come alive, through depth or texture.

For a brief moment while watching the presentation, I felt this sudden recall to the gentle world of Delpozo, but Colagrossi is a bit more daring, a lot more practical, and even more intense. He doesn’t aim to be perfect, instead reaching for something more human, more realistic.

Colagrossi is a bit more daring, and even more intense

We later saw a turn to more aggressive fabrics too, a vinyl (or leather?) piece here and there to demonstrate a more artistic dimension.

There’s something to be said about the use of vintage silhouettes at Paris Fashion Week in general, and Ungaro was no exception. The collection included a darling midi somewhat-pencil skirt, giving the appearance of curvy hips, in addition to the color palette. Gathers, seen in AALTO, Loewe, and many others this season, also made an appearance here. I think we’ve seen what will be one of the top trends next spring.

I think we’ve seen what will be one of the top trends next spring

The white sub-collection was a breath of fresh air, so sweet and delicate, paired with a kick-ass attitude showing a cool glam angle. We even observed a handful of high-low dresses, too, pointing to a potential comeback at Ungaro.

There’s a conscious desire to keep the Ungaro woman in feminine looks, not hiding the body or adopting masculine-leaning looks. It’s as if he wants to say, women can dress like the beautiful creatures that we are, while still being taken seriously. There was a single nod to the pant suit, but turned on its head and redone with an exaggerated statement-purple organza sleeve that really was delicate but appeared to be quite sharp.

women can dress like the beautiful creatures that we are, while still being taken seriously

What I loved most from the designer’s thinking was his idea to deliver the beauty and powerful effect of volume without the weight, which is so important for a spring/summer collection. The collection had range, brilliantly-integrated sub-collections and promise for a wonderful season. I see a glimmer of brilliance in Colagrossi’s aesthetic and I can’t wait to see more!

I loved his idea to deliver the powerful effect of volume without the weight

Next time you find yourself at the fabric store, get a couple of yards of jewel-tone chiffon to prepare for next season — it’s going to be a darling alternative to a necklace!


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