A. Pierre Cardin, Fetish for the Bubble
Pierre Cardin, one of the most famous names in fashion, has been developing elegant and avant-garde creations for over half a century. Cardin was born Pietro Cardin on July 2, 1922 in a small town in Italy and made his name in France after moving to Paris after World War II. In 1946, he was hired to design the costumes for “Beauty and the Beast” by Jean Cocteau, from the legendary film director. Cocteau was very impressed with his work and introduced him to designer Christian Dior. At 25, Cardin secured the position of head of one of Christian Dior’s studios. A few years later, in 1953, the House of Cardin was formed and quickly gained followers.
1. Brief biography
- Cardin, 14, started his career early and worked as an apprentice carpenter. He learned the basics of fashion design and construction. In 1939 he left home to work for a tailor in Vichy, where he started making suits for women. During World War II, he worked for the Red Cross.
- Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There he studied architecture and worked with the brand Paquin. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior’s tailoring workshop in 1947. However, he was denied work in Balenciaga.
- Cardin founded his own house in 1950. At first he designed clothes for theatrical productions, but soon he built a customer base. Christian Dior sent roses to Cardin in congratulations and referred his overcrowded customers, a far more important gesture of encouragement, to Cardin’s new business.
- His career began when, on September 3, 1951, at the Palazzo Labia in Venice, he designed about 30 of the costumes for the “Festa do Século”, a masquerade offered by the owner of the Palazzo, Carlos de Beistegui.
- Cardin talks about starting his company: “I started with 20 people. I was immediately successful. “In 1953, Cardin published his first collection of women’s clothing and became a member of Chambre Syndicale, a French association of high fashion designers. In 1954, he opened his first women’s boutique called Eve. In the same year, his bubble dresses became an international success. The design is still popular today: a wide dress becomes narrower close to the waist, widens and is reintroduced at the hem, creating a “bubble” effect.
Soon, however, Cardin sought inspiration outside France. He visited Japan in 1957 and became one of the first Western designers to look for oriental influences. In Japan, he sought business opportunities and studied the country’s fashion in search of new ideas. Japanese fashion school Bunka Fukusoi named him an honorary professor, where he taught a month-long lesson on three-dimensional cuts. Also in 1957, Cardin opened his first men’s boutique in Paris, called Adam.
In 1959, he was excluded from Chambre Syndicale because he was the first seamstress in Paris to launch a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store, but was soon reinstated.
2. Circles in Pierre Cardin’s fashion designs
In the 1960s, Cardin started a common practice today, creating the licensing system that he was supposed to apply to fashion. A clothing collection launched at that time surprised everyone by showing the designer’s logo for the first time.
Cardin resigned from the Chambre Syndicale in 1966 and started exhibiting his collections in his own space, the Espace Cardin (opened in 1971) in Paris, the former “Théâtre des Ambassadeurs”. Espace Cardin is also used to cultivate new artistic talents, such as theater companies, musicians and others. He was also contacted by Pakistan International Airlines to design uniforms for the airline. Uniforms were introduced from 1966 to 1971 and became an instant hit. .
In 1971, Cardin redesigned the Barong Tagalog, a national costume of the Philippines, opening the front, removing the cufflinks, demanding the sleeves, flaming the sleeves and minimizing the embroidery. Unlike the traditionally loose design, it was also tapered towards the body. It also had a thicker collar with sharp, pointed cuffs.
Cardin has always been fascinated by geometric shapes and in 1975 he applied his bubble fetish to a monumental house that, together with the architect Antti Lovag, would become Le Palais Bulles (the bubble house). Cardin provided Bubble House with his original creations. Bubble House’s curves span 1,200 square meters and include ten rooms decorated by contemporary artists and a panoramic room.
3. The bubble house
Cardin was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter from 1953 to 1993.
Cardin bought Maxim’s Restaurants in 1981 and soon opened branches in New York, London and Beijing (1983). A Maxim’s hotel chain is now included in the property. He also licensed a wide variety of foods under that name.
Like many other designers today, Cardin decided in 1994 to show his collection only to a small group of selected clients and journalists. After an interval of 15 years, he showed a new collection to a group of 150 journalists at his bubble house in Cannes.
B. 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the French Design Legend Pierre Cardin
Pierre Cardin died today at the age of 98 in Neuilly, near Paris. “We are all proud of his persistent ambition and the boldness he has shown throughout his life,” his family said in a statement. Here we revisit the legacy of the French designer before his exhibition last year.
The retrospective of Pierre Cardin’s work at the Brooklyn Museum is an opportunity to reevaluate this designer’s career. The timing could not be better, as the future has finally almost reached Cardin. “No hunter in the past” is how Vogue described this often prophetic and sometimes disturbing stylist who has long been concerned with the democratization of fashion and the industry through clothing and licensing. Cardin embraced the space age and led a “revolution” in men’s fashion that culminated in the design of suits for the Beatles.
The designer, who turned 97 this month and still reports to the office every day, is one of the last men in the golden era of haute couture to help bring Christian Dior’s new look, and his technical skills are indisputable. “Because of his extensive knowledge of construction, tailoring and sculptural-architectural proportions, Cardin is the only Parisian fashion designer outside Balenciaga who is not only a designer, but also an excellent fitter and tailor,” noted a fashion journalist in 1958.
It is true that the diversity and depth of Cardin’s career make it difficult to navigate, but most of the press today is about the designer for his business vision. Depending on his point of view, Cardin is a visionary or a cautious brand reduction case study through licensing in this area. As Dana Thomas notes in Deluxe: As luxury lost its luster, Cardin “revolutionized fashion by licensing the mass production of pre-made women’s clothing”. In 1959, this was not a standard practice as it is today, and this measure led him to be temporarily excluded from the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
At least part of Cardin’s motivation was to democratize fashion, but as the designer’s licensing and sub-licensing contracts grew, his name seemed to exist independently of any product. Curator Matthew Yokobosky wants to realign the name with fashion: “I want people to get rid of this rethinking of Pierre Cardin as a great fashion designer and furniture designer – not just as a scarf designer,” he told Vogue.
1. What would happen
There is a distinct look of cardin. It is based on geometry. It is sculptural and sometimes kinetic. It is also clean and minimalist and has already been applied to clothes and furniture, even in real estate. Although Cardin did not design the famous Palais Bulles (Bubble Palace), he bought it in 1991 and oversaw its completion. About 37 years after the release of his first hit, Bubble Rock. Some of Cardin’s works are undeniably distant, but many of them have proven themselves, as well as some of the concepts behind them. At Cardin, announced by Vogue in 1964, “every dress is an adventure full of ideas”.
After Cardin opened his own business and made fantasies, Dior summoned his protege to get involved with Carlos de Beistegui’s Feast of the Century in Venice. Dior was present as a magnificently mowed lion. Cardin was so respected that he was considered one of the main candidates for the leadership of Dior after the death of the founder. How different fashion history would have been if Cardin had adopted this coat instead of Yves Saint Laurent! (Before Betty Catroux became the muse of Saint Laurent, she was an “extraordinary saleswoman” at Cardin’s boutique on the left bank.)
2. Men’s Clothing
Much energy and interest in fashion today is generated by a multitude of designers who, like Cardin decades ago, understood that “most men have an unconscious but inhibited desire for imagination”. He decided to get it right. Although Cardin’s space-age looks (more on that later) are better known, Vogue attributed a revolution in men’s fashion to the designer when he reported the opening of a Cardin boutique in Bonwit Teller, New York, in 1966. All of his clothes, according to the magazine, are “in the style that Cardin describes as” sexy … as well as elegant that kicky … very young … The shape takes the man and gives him size and youth … ” .
Cardin opened his first men’s store in 1957. As a companion to his boutique Eve, his name was Adam. Although the designer sometimes modeled his own dresses when it was time to show off his first men’s collection in 1960, he did so with a cast formed entirely by students from the University of Paris. The highly independent Cardin defended freedom for women and men – “Youth is agile; Age is hard. I like lines that move with the body, ”he explained in 1958. His most laid-back haberdashery was really impressive: in 1966, Reuter reported that the men’s clothing stylist’s sales were $ 26 million, six times more than his women .
3. Les Femmes
Cardin has always had a love affair with Asia. In 1979 he presented a fashion show for professionals in Beijing; Even earlier, in 1961, he became professor emeritus at Bunka Fashion College. During a visit he met the model Hiroko Matsumoto, who, as he said later, “embodies a purity like I have never seen in anyone”. Cardin invited her to come to Paris; She eventually gave in and became the muse of the designer and, they say, the first Japanese model to work with haute couture, which was not known for the variety of her cabinets. Matsumoto’s arrival attracted a lot of interest from the press and a contemporary report found that the model is “currently enjoying the nightly success in Paris that was previously reserved for actresses”.
Cardin had stolen Jeanne Moreau from Chanel. The star supposedly went to Cardin from Rue Cambon and said, “I have to get out of that uniform.”
4. Technology connoisseur
Curator Yokobosky says that one of the surprising discoveries he made while exhibiting the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum was Cardin’s electric robes from 1967. These were decorated with bright LED embroidery. The catwalk on which they were presented was darkened before being shown to increase their impact.
More importantly, because it goes beyond the decorative, it was Cardine’s invention by the designer, “the exciting new fabric that everyone is talking about”, as reported by Vogue in October 1968. As one of the first engineering materials, it could be treated thermally to accommodate raised designs. Cardin made an “egg box” dress with him in 1968 and included it in his innovative Cosmocorps collection.
5. Space race
Cardin is the only civilian to wear a NASA space suit (in a legal context, the show at the Brooklyn Museum begins on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing). Cecil Beaton wrote that Cardin “was a member of the Marciana School: his young models are equipped for any science fiction activity. Their heads are protected by helmets, fire masks or culinary weapons and, like pears, torpedoes or rocket missiles, are cut out of light hair materials. You are at the forefront of those who explore space. ”
There was no youth and music scene in Paris as there was in London. Space Age designs, explained curator Pamela Golbin in a 2002 article in the Chicago Tribune, “have become a metaphor for youth and the future in France. It was an optimistic message about how to transform yourself into a modern person wearing miniskirts, elastic pants and other clothes that allow you to move. ”
C. Behold The Return Of The ’50s Bubble Dress At London Fashion Week
In a political climate full of ideals that radically collide (London had its biannual fashion week punctuated this weekend by activists protesting on the streets for sustainability and climate change), it can be argued that the 1950s are alive and well until the rock bottom . Designers were also inspired by the post-war discomfort by displaying the capricious 1950s bubble dress on the catwalks. Erdem, Simone Rocha, JW Anderson and even Ricberry by Riccardo Tisci participated in the exuberant aesthetics, dressing their models with skirts and dresses that fluttered on the catwalks with enormous volume.
Popularized for the first time at the beginning of social conservatism after World War II, the memorable silhouette consisted of a voluminous dress made of layers of organza or tulle. The dress resembled a protective cocoon and was a design that Pierre Cardin and Hubert de Givenchy tried on in 1954 and 1958, respectively. The “bubble dress”, as it was aptly called, quickly became a fashionable cocktail outfit in the late 1950s and 1960s. Later, Yves Saint Laurent for Dior went on to design, creating a low-waisted dress and bubble skirt in 1959. In the 1980s, the bubble silhouette experienced a resurgence of the bubble silhouette when designer Christian Lacroix debuted a dramatic poof skirt for haute couture.
Modern designers have dispensed with traditional tulle for silky and draped fabrics that can be easily pulled down the catwalks. In addition to the juilet sleeves of the Renaissance era and a cardin-style wool coat for fall / winter 2019, Jonathan Anderson presented a polka dot bubble dress with a polka dot pattern and olive oil to add a touch of whimsy to his contemporary women’s collection and simplified. Always skillfully and effortlessly playing with fabrics and shapes, Anderson has tried to overdo haute couture this season, proving that he is not afraid to experiment or move the needle forward.
Meanwhile, Tisci decided to make up for his cool new kid, a grunge aesthetic from his Burberry era (in the program notes, referring to the collection as The Tempest in terms of British art and culture) with his own version of the bubble dress. In addition to deconstructed tracksuits, corset tops and 90s references to rave culture, Tisci Hiandra Martinez sent her version of the little black bubble with leather gloves and fluttering sleeves down the catwalk. It was an unexpected but welcome turnaround in the rest of his collection, which was marked by streetwear, inflatable coats and bomber jackets.
Erdem and Simone Rocha made flowers, glamorous dresses and bold femininity long-standing brands in their collections and yet, perhaps by chance, decided to present bubble dresses for autumn / winter 2019. Erdem Moralioglu revealed a litany of layered chiffon dresses that swept the catwalk with a lot of fanfare, but her bubble dresses (adorned with dramatic necklines with pussy lace) in pink flamingo floral really stole the show. Rocha also wore patterned balloon skirts for her fall collection, some in periwinkle blue and others in a decadent golden brocade. Although the aesthetics inspired by the 1950s permeated both presentations, Moralioglu and Rocha ended up being inspired by two very different women: Principessa Orietta Doria Pamphilj, who lived in Mussolini’s fascist Italy, and the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois. Perhaps it was also the recent adoption of the blatant and extravagant romance, as seen in Pierpaolo Piccioli’s latest haute couture collection for Valentino Spring 2019, that encouraged designers to delve into the past and give the masses something imaginative when not showing the unjustified. In fact, it is even more important to the old saying that fashion is nothing more than a series of cycles.