La Bohème: DIVA by UNGARO (1983)

The Black Narcissus

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” By the way, you’re such a diva”, a new acquaintance on Facebook said to me recently.

“He is”, said Duncan, picking up the thread.

Attention-seeking, a touch tempestuous and flamboyant, I suppose it might be true, but I do know one thing: I love that word. Diva. It evokes something besotted, rarified: a gilded, beautiful soprano on stage at La Scala. The audience in the palms of her outstretched, coloratura hands as she hangs on, virtuosically, to that tremulous, sky-piercing C and lets it voluptuously float, time-bound, to the rafters. All eyes on her.

They all have paid good money, there, for the diva.

Jacques Polge’s creation for Ungaro from 1983, a form of prelude or sketch for his later, more fleshed-out and carnivalesque Coco (1985), certainly lives up to its name: a voluminous, full-throated, honeyed spice-rose chypre that would conjure up crimson red theatre curtains even if you…

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