Designer Evolution: Emanuel Ungaro Moves Forward by Going Back

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We've long been fans of vintage Ungaro: the quirky-yet-sublime floral print gowns, the off-beat, boxy, mod minis with unexpected details (patterned attached sleeves, box-pleat skirt)—you knew it was Ungaro from a mile away. Maybe that's why we were so taken when we saw Esteban Cortazar's Pre-Fall collection for the French fashion house: the pops of color! The 3-D insets on a perfectly retro minidress! Total Déjà vu! Then we found out that this is the first time that Cortazar, who has been the Creative Director at Ungaro for four seasons now, went back to the house's inspiring archives. We're loving the direction the young designer is taking Ungaro in: it feels like a giant step forward that that also stays true to the offbeat cool that Ungaro is so fondly remembered for. It's just the kind of thing that eccentrics like Björk would wear, which is what makes the choice of model, newcomer Tamara McDonald, all the more appropriate. Doesn't she totally channel the fair, dark-haired songstress?