Lindsay Lohan wins surprise Nobel Peace Prize as Creative Director of Emanuel Ungaro


Yes she can. Don’t laugh. After today anything is possible. Chic happens. All you need is a vision board.

Stop laughing and compare, side by side, the statements of Mounir Moufarrige, the chief executive of Emanuel Ungaro and Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee , as published in The New York Times.

ON MR OBAMA: “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee said in its citation. “His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”

“Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics,” the committee wrote. “Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.”

ON MS LOHAN: The market for luxury goods has been so bad, he said, that hiring a traditional designer would not make enough of a difference to get people into his stores. With retailers cutting their orders by 30 percent or more this year, there was little chance that Ungaro could survive without getting more attention. He said he did not believe that Ms. Lohan’s history of well-publicized personal problems would get in the way of her job at Ungaro or have a detrimental impact on the brand.

At that moment, his cell phone rang. It was a security guard telling him that Ms. Lohan and her sister, Ali, had gone downstairs into the store to try on some clothes. The store, in fact, was now mobbed.

ON MR OBAMA: Interviewed later in the Nobel Committee’s wood-paneled meeting room, surrounded by photographs of past winners, Mr. Jagland brushed aside concerns expressed by some critics that Mr. Obama remains untested.

“The question we have to ask is who has done the most in the previous year to enhance peace in the world,” Mr. Jagland said. “And who has done more than Barack Obama?”

He compared the selection of Mr. Obama with the award in 1971 to the then West German Chancellor Willy Brandt for his “Ostpolitik” policy of reconciliation with communist eastern Europe.

“Brandt hadn’t achieved much when he got the prize, but a process had started that ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall,” said Mr. Jagland. “The same thing is true of the prize to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, for launching perestroika. One can say that Barack Obama is trying to change the world, just as those two personalities changed Europe.”

ON MS LOHAN: Ms. Lohan represents a modern version of a fashion muse. She is an actress who is being paid — with a deal reported to be worth millions — to serve as artistic adviser, most unlike the classic image, for example, of Loulou de la Falaise, the dear friend of Saint Laurent and daughter of the model Maxime de la Falaise, who would gently nudge a bow and whisper to the great couturier that it looked chicer that way.

Mr. Moufarrige, during an interview in his office above the Ungaro store on Avenue Montaigne, argued that the controversy could still be good for the brand. He pointed out that he has made controversial hires in the past that ultimately were vindicated, noting that he replaced Karl Lagerfeld with Stella McCartney, the daughter of Paul McCartney, at Chloé in 1997. Though Ms. McCartney’s appointment indeed ruffled feathers among the French design establishment, she did have formal design training and has since gone on to develop a successful signature line.

ON MR OBAMA: “We have to get the world on the right track again,” he said. Without referring specifically to the Bush era, he continued: “Look at the level of confrontation we had just a few years ago. Now we get a man who is not only willing but probably able to open dialogue and strengthen international institutions.”

ON MS LOHAN: Mounir Moufarrige, the chief executive of the company, acknowledged in an interview that the move would likely create waves among French fashion purists, possibly even charges of bad taste, but he argued that the times called for a maneuver he likened to “electric shock treatment.” Sales of the high-end Ungaro collection have dropped substantially since Mr. Ungaro sold his business in 1996, and none of the designers hired to replace him since his retirement five years ago have managed to draw much attention to the label.

“She knows the difference between what looks good, what is not and what is cool,” Mr. Moufarrige said. “Celebrities today attract a lot of attention and having a moving, dancing, swinging, living doll is, we hope, going to bring down the age group at Ungaro while keeping the DNA.”

ON  MR OBAMA: “We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future, but for what he has done in the previous year,” Mr. Jagland said. “We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do.”

ON MS LOHAN: “A designer alone is not enough to get us back where we were, unless I had Tom Ford or Phoebe Philo,” he said. “But there are not many of those, and they are taken.”

“We could spend two or three years with a designer and get a great collection again,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean people will buy it. Everybody’s got a nice collection.” But a celebrity, that’s another story, and one who draws the spotlight just for selling a line of leggings couldn’t do worse. “I looked at several, and they all had the same ingredients,” Mr. Moufarrige said. “If you are a celebrity, you may be controversial and prone to a lot of problems, but you attract a lot of attention.”

So, are you still laughing? I wonder if Kanye West will accompany Ms Lohan to Oslo in December.

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