IInspired by the space race, Pierre Cardin’s spherical volume designs shaped fashion for decades. He was born in San Biagio di Callalta (Veneto) in 1922, but his parents moved to France when he was two years old. After arriving in Paris in 1945 and working with geniuses like Christian Dior, he founded his own workshop in 1950. From then on, the couturier did not leave stitch without thread: he democratized clothing with the ready-to-wear (he introduced his creations in department stores), he was a precursor to the unisex style, he founded a global brand that integrated fashion, architecture, design… And, as if that were not enough, he created some of the most iconic pieces of the 20th century.
The genius behind the empire
As a businessman, Cardin built an empire based on granting licenses for the mass production of clothing, but also perfumes, sunglasses and furniture. All with millionaire profits. Always a pioneer, he opened the market in Japan in 1959 and organized parades in China in 1979. Then came Russia, India…
Cardin was the creator of the famous Bubble Dress, marked at the waist and with an exaggerated rounded silhouette around the hips, but he was also the author of the look of jacket suits with a Mao collar shirt that characterized The Beatles in the 60s.
Personally, his great female love was the actress Jeanne Moreau. The couple met in 1961 when the actress visited the couturier on the advice of Gabrielle Chanel to ask him to design her outfits for the film Eva. “She needed clothes for a movie. It was love at first sight and a passionate romance that lasted four years, “explained Cardin who, despite having changed the world, always recognized that he had two dreams left to fulfill: having a child and traveling to the Moon.
Their furniture, elegant and with a design that made them seem always ready to enter orbit, combined metal, wood, plastic, glass, leather… Everything seemed little to Cardin for the creation of what he himself called ‘utilitarian sculptures ‘, characterized by their elegance, but also by their functionality.
His collection of bar furniture, coffee tables with removable pieces or chests of drawers with extravagant shapes and colors seemed to have been born to transfer his catwalk creations to the interior of homes. “What’s interesting about Pierre’s furniture is that he uses traditional techniques in new ways just as he used traditional fabrics and adapted them to modern silhouettes,” explained Matthew Yokobosky, the curator of the designer’s exhibition organized by the Brooklyn Museum a few months earlier. of his death, aged 98, in December 2020.
live in bubbles
“The straight line is an attack against nature,” maintained the Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, responsible for the creation of the Palais Bulles in the bay of Cannes (in the south of France), a mansion that Cardin acquired in the 1990s as a residence for summer.
His famous Bubble Dress, the 1954 design that made him recognizable to the general public, found its most faithful reflection in that palace of concrete bubbles. Beds, furniture, armchairs and even fireplaces and televisions, everything there is curved. Since then, the Palais Bulles has been one of the most valued architectural creations in France and has hosted parades, festivals and presentations.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.