Last week, Giles Deacon was appointed the creative director of Emanuel Ungaro. But what do you know about Deacon other than that he makes extremely fun eyeball and dinosaur bags and had a rousing Pac-Man–inspired spring 2009 runway show? Over the weekend, the Times noted the lack of superstar designers landing jobs at top houses, suggesting Deacon isn’t a superstar designer. He’s not flashy, he seems unlikely to pose nude in an ad campaign, and his former girlfriend says he’s “very happy on his own with a sketchbook and a pint of beer.” Beer? This is a man who is breaking down barriers.
The Guardian elaborates:
Heterosexual, mild-mannered and almost wholly unaffected, he seems out of place in the gaudy world of high fashion, like a free-range chicken pecking at corn amid a gaggle of strutting peacocks. “He likes everybody,” explains [David] Waddington. “He’s very inclusive and talks the same to everyone, from waiters to heads of fashion houses — he’s great like that.”
Designers who are as famous for who they are as they are for their design talents (Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford) are fantastic, but the demure Giles sounds like an awesome guy, too.
It is true that Deacon has always been keen to play down the pretentiousness of the industry. Friends say he has little time for pomposity and firmly believes fashion should be accessible rather than exclusive. To this end, he has worked on several collaborations, designing everything from Sky HDTV boxes to Smythson note cards and even a strapless polka dot dress for the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny to mark the launch of Caramel Nibbles. Since 2007, he has also designed a highly successful collection for the high-street chain New Look. In haughtier fashion circles, Deacon’s populist touch is greeted sniffily but he is unapologetic: collaborations, he once said, are practical because they generate “the money you need for your own company”.
Just look at how far fashion has come. The top designers showing in Paris can design dresses for candy bunnies and it’s totally okay.