Known for his bold choice of color & prints, tailoring skills and draping abilities as well as his work on John Cassavetes’ Gloria, iconic French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro died on Saturday. He was 86.
Details about his death are unknown, but the official Instagram account of his namesake fashion house confirmed his passing posting multiple pictures of the legend at work with the captions in both French and English that said: “The Fashion House he founded in 1965 still bearing his name cries today this extremely talented Couturier. He will stay in our memories as the Master of sensuality, colours and flamboyance.”
Ungaro was born in Aix-en-Province in the south of France in 1933. He learned his tailoring skills while working for his father, who was also a tailor.
He went on to work for another iconic designer by the name of Cristóbal Balenciaga while in Paris before going on to work for the legendary André Courrèges. Fusing his own design sensibilities with Balenciaga’s bold reinvention of the silhouette and cinched waist and Courrèges modernist approach to fashion, Ungaro went on to launch his own fashion house in 1965 and would become a sought-after creative mind in the industry.
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After making a name for himself in haute couture, he would go on to create a ready-to-wear line and menswear. He quickly became a favorite of A-list clientele including Catherine Deneuve, Isabel Adjani and Anouk Aimee.
He also served as costume designer for the aforementioned Gloria, where hs dressed Gena Rowlands, who went on to receive an Oscar nomination.
In 1996, Salvatore Ferragamo bought Ungaro when the brand was at its peak. He continued to create collections until 2004 when Ungaro retired and sold his label to Asim Abdullah. The label continued to do well with numerous designers leading the charge. Esteban Cortazar worked for the label in 2007 and refused to work with Lindsay Lohan. He was fired and Lohan took the post as Artistic Director with new head designer Estrella Archs. The news of Lohan did not sit well with the public and she eventually stepped down.
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