Emanuel Ungaro Spring/Summer 2017 Full Fashion Show

Backstage at Emanuel Ungaro tonight, Fausto Puglisi mentioned Princess Stephanie of Monaco, and a video she made circa 1986 for “Ouragan,” or “Hurricane.” If this reporter’s memory serves, it never entered MTV rotation, but it made a big impression on Puglisi growing up in Italy nonetheless. The video is found easily enough on YouTube now, and though the plotline’s a little hazy and not necessarily politically correct, it’s easy to see why Puglisi was hooked. The Princess was a knockout. Stephanie was the rebel royal, and decades later it looks like Puglisi’s aesthetic was in some part formed by that spirit. Think of his earliest collections at his eponymous label, where Greek mythology mixed with Hollywood glitz, and punks clashed with aristos.

We’ve entered the period of peak ruffle. That means it’s a good time to be at Ungaro, a label synonymous with the high-flying ’80s, which is the last time the world saw frills and flounces on the scale we’re witnessing now. Cleverly, Puglisi put plenty of ruffles in his new lineup. After three full years at the house of Ungaro, this qualifies as his truest reflection of the founder’s legacy, but it wasn’t a line-for-line homage, thanks to the rebellious Stephanie. The gazar and crinoline that inched up past the models’ chins on the show-opening black leather dress and subsequent sleeveless silk blouses tucked into high-waisted minis were flamboyant, and assertively so. Same goes for the extra-wide belts buckling those looks and the heart-shaped buckles made from handfuls of giant crystals.

Puglisi lifted a floral print from Ungaro’s archives and reproduced it in a slightly shrunken format on a nice one-shoulder jumpsuit. He did some color-blocking familiar from his eponymous line. Of the two flower jacquards, the purple and yellow combination was better than the blue and red. But the looks that really registered were the ones with those epic ruffles.

By Nicole Phelps

Emanuel Ungaro Spring/Summer 2017 Full Fashion Show