Before and After: Giles Deacon

Emmanuel Ungaro once said he dressed “mistresses rather than wives.” This is still true—and raunchy ones too. A plethora of sexual signifiers, leather, latex, and lace marched down yesterday’s runway show by Giles Deacon, the house’s creative director for the past year. It’s a weighty task given the house’s rapid turnover and the hire-and-fire of Esteban Cortazar and Lindsay Lohan. We met with the designer to discuss the London presentation of his emponymous line, and are here checking in again to see how Paris and Ungaro went down.

Set in the luxurious 18th century interiors of Paris’ Italian embassy, the Ungaro show’s atmosphere was close to Buñuel’s Belle de Jour: a bourgeoisie in fur and dog collars. Interview met with Deacon after the show to talk Britishness, sex appeal, and Paris.


ALICE PFEIFFER: Where is the “Britishness” in this collection?

GILES DEACON: Where do you think it is? I always find the idea of Britishness a bit of a boring old concept to be honest. That world of Britishness always comes off a bit twee, and only about cream teas and that sort of things. I’ve worked and shown abroad for a long time, so this is much more about a global feeling than a British thing.

PFEIFFER: How would you describe the Ungaro-by-Deacon woman?

DEACON: The essence of her is what people all over the world like and find an affinity with: a Parisian chic and sexy girl, who you see getting out of great cars going into brilliant restaurants. She is a woman who wears beautiful couture pieces with street-y inspired pieces. So I had a good mix of all of that, to reflect that fun and quality that I think Parisians do so well.

PFEIFFER: What is the main difference between your own line and your designs for Ungaro?

DEACON: My designs at Ungaro are a lot more sexual, in more of an obvious way: my personal designers are a little bit more sideways. But, you know, they’re all women!

PFEIFFER: Like any designer this week, you must have been extremely stressed. What makes you happy today?

DEACON: Simple things. It’s a sunny day, all the nice people who turned up to the show, this beautiful venue, but also just life and people.