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Designers Trade Publicity for Style

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I cannot for the life of me figure out why a Parisian fashion house as famous and as legendary as Emanuel Ungaro would appoint Lindsay Lohan to the ever-important position of art director.

Scratch that, I have my suspicions.

Money, publicity, fame -- perhaps resurgence in purchasing revenue ... All of these are valid reasons. Still, when Lohan and designer Estrella Archs took to the runway at the Louvre to take their bows, no one seemed impressed -- or even pleased with the collection.

Not to mention, Emanuel Ungaro has been going through the change of life -- so to speak. Since the founding designer retired five years ago, the label has had designer after designer with Archs as the latest.

Sadly, the same can be said of the Valentino collections. When founding designer Valentino Garavani recently retired, the brand went through a slew of different designers.

The case with Ungaro is that the company was sold in 2005 to Asim Abdullah. Then in 2006, Mounir Moufarrige was named president and CEO of the company. The October 2009 showing at the Louvre was the first under Ungaro for Archs.

This is a fashion house that has been around since 1965 for Vogue's sake!

Something tells me that after the success of Jamie Foxx's "Blame it on the Alcohol," a remix is in the works and for my money -- I have the title, "Blame it on the Recession."

Is the recession to blame for Lohan's fashion mishap? If it is, it is indirectly.

In an interview with the New York Times, Moufarrige justified and stood by the hiring of Lohan by mentioning his replacement of Lagerfeld with Stella McCartney in 1997 for Chloe.

Still, I blame the fashion house. Realistically speaking, Lindsay Lohan's fashion experience mostly involves putting on and taking off clothes. If she looks great on the red carpet -- that is due to her stylist, not her.

The collection itself was hideous and that's putting it nicely. The models looked horrendous in overly-loose fitting jackets and heart pasties. It looked more like a couture strip club. A majority of the pieces had perspectives that couldn't be understood. Even if it were the designer's vision and not Lohan's, it still didn't translate well on the runway.

Nowadays, publicity is very important to fashion -- almost as important as the looks that designers show. It is clear that Ungaro was hoping that Lohan might be able to pull a fashionable rabbit out of her hat. Maybe they thought that the designer would take the helm as she should have and not given Lohan as much control as she had. Secretly, I was hoping for the same thing.

Designers and celebrities teaming together to produce lines was an American happenstance. Not anymore.

Now, anyone can be a fashion designer as long as they have enough zeros in their bank account. Some people almost expect it.

In Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta, Sheree Whitfield and Lisa Wu Hartwell, both produced collections and filmed their showings while on the show. Hartwell's collection actually had clothing, though poorly executed. Whitfield's collection was non existent. She had a showing of nothing.

I have to worry and wonder if fashion is losing its way. Trading true style for publicity should never be in style. When is enough going to be enough?