All The Rage

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Celebs as artistic advisors? We think not.

December 29, 2009 | 12:00 pm

LohanIt's been well-reported that the executive who put troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan in the "artistic advisor" seat at fashion house Ungaro-- former brand President Mounir Moufarrige -- was asked to hand in his resignation this month. And, shockingly, Lohan gets to stay on -- despite a roundly frowned-upon initial collection for the label for Spring 2010.

Lohan, who's not exactly taken seriously in Hollywood or fashion, was an unlikely pick for the position for two reasons: She's a tabloid staple with a shaky rep and no real experience in fashion and European fashion houses -- even ones foundering in financial woes, like Ungaro -- aren't usually keen to hire untested (not to mention all-around questionable) talent. Still, Lohan perseveres.

Which got us wondering if there were any theoretical designer brand-celebrity match-ups that would be advantageous for a fashion house (conversely, mass brands and celebs, a la Kate Moss and Top Shop, go together like eggs and bacon).

Take edgy songstress Lily Allen, who's a current face for Chanel. As stylish as she is, it's absurd to think of her advising Karl Lagerfeld on a formal basis. Ditto on Marion Cotillard for the John Galliano-designed Christian Dior label, for which she has been an ambassador in the past.

The only reasonable pairing that came to mind (though still unnecessary-feeling) is Madonna for Dolce & Gabbana. The parties have a long history of collaboration, and they both exist on a similar aesthetic plane. A runner-up might be Gwyneth Paltrow for Tod's, a house that's known for its conservative designs -- Paltrow's been the face of the brand in the past, but the company is now looking to its lofty heritage, and not celebs, to sell bags.

Granted, the house of Ungaro doesn't have a resident genius -- unknown designer Estrella Archs stepped in for Spring 2010 -- and therefore clearly needs all the hype help it can get. But contracting any celebrity to consult on a designer fashion brand, let alone the queen of tabloid chatter, may prove to be disastrous in the end.

Can you think of any high-fashion/celeb pairings that might make the grade? Tell us in the comments section below.

-- Emili Vesilind


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Photo: Estrella Archs and Lindsay Lohan at the end of the Emanuel Ungaro Spring-Summer 2010 runway show. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times