Pierre Cardin reported to the office and worked every day till his last day. Through ready-to-wear, Cardin, the ever innovator, continued to push boundaries. Often prophetic, Cardin had a long association with the democratization of the fashion industry. He led a revolution in menswear, highpoint the Beatles suits. Starting from the 50s, Cardin’s ground-breaking designs gave a peek into the future. The creator of unisex looks, Cardin’s popularity sky rocketed during the 60s for his futuristic work.
Cardin’s work, a contrast between voluptuous curves and geometric strictness, aligned his romance with rigor. He had a penchant for sleeveless coats, asymmetric closures, tunics worn over tights or bodysuits and soft jerseys with precision cuts. He himself created a synthetic fabric, known as Cardine, that gave his designs an architectural quality. The fabric expanded what it was previously capable of as it can be shaped into geometric forms. He became a pioneer of fashion licensing during his seven decade-long career. The always forward-thinking polymath and avid businessman broke with convention on every front.
Cardin, a man of action, revealed his forward-thinking optimism to Vogue once. He said, “I’m most happy that I remained in creation, always remaining popular and always continuing to create.”
Here are few iconic futuristic designs of Pierre Cardin which show his boundless innovation:
1. Pierre Cardin vinyl eyewear, 1970: For his 1970 collection, Cardin designed eyeglasses for his models using vinyl.
2. Pagoda jackets, 1990: Cardin often used leather and vinyl to support his space age designs. The iconic jacket was also identified as a leather raincoat.
3. Wool cocktail dress, 1975: The designer’s creations often set themselves a class apart as they emphasised the wearer’s movement. Cardin also designed mini and mod skirts.
4. Parabolic gown, 1992: Inspired by the rounded surfaces of post-war plastics, the lacquered geometries of Art Deco, the bubble helmets of space suits and the orbital paths of planets, the sequined parabolic gown continues to be a moment in history.
5. Cardine dress, 1968: Cardin relied on his skills as a masterful tailor. He could mould anything out of a medium. Among his recognizable silhouettes are Japanese-inspired pinafores created with thermo-formed fabric.
6. Cardin linen pants, 1972: He redefined the hem of the pants giving it an overall makeover. The section of the pants near the hem up to the half calf was expanded for more room.
7. Wool dress with cutouts, 1971: Undoubtedly, this piece was a masterclass. His boldly futuristic designs not only were par excellence but visually appealing.
8. Computer coats, 1980: The most favourite choice among his models were the ‘orbiting’ dresses or the pleated ‘computer’ coats.