Pierre Cardin – Futuriste

There are many gifted, talented and visionary designers who lived and created heavenly beautiful clothes that mesmerized us. We dreamt to own or create them.

And there are some artist designers who introduced us to something that no one taught before. They are visionary and have a force to create a new chapter in art, design and fashion.

Pierre Cardin was/is one of them. But we don’t talk about him so much, not like Balenciaga, or Givenchy, right?

Maybe because of him revolutionizing fashion by licensing the mass production of women’s designer ready-to-wear. In 1959, this wasn’t standard operating procedure as it is today, and this move got him temporarily expelled from the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

Probably his motivation was to democratize fashion, but as the designer’s licensing and sub-licensing deals grew, his name seemed to exist independent of any one product. This move made him rich, but alienated from snobs in fashion. Something that influenced Halston but destroyed him on the way!

I don’t want to turn this to a history lesson, so I am going to share some of his more influential works and how it did change the fashion industry.

Things to know about Pierre Cardin:

  • He is Italian, his family moved to France when he was a kid
  • He came from a rich land-owner family
  • He studied Architecture on his father’s request, but had his heart in dress-making
  • He started working as a tailor apprentice in Paquin, and Schiparelly before he moved to Dior
  • He became head of Christian Dior‘s tailleur atelier in 1947, at age of 25!
    Yes he had
    something to do with the Dior’s new look. Christian Dior himself credited his work.
  • He opened up his own boutique in 1953. His Bubble dress became iconic
  • In 1957 he visited Japan, to get inspiration and scope out business opportunities.
    He became an honorary professor in Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, and he taught three-dimensional cuts. This shaped Japanese designers’ fashion style to this today

Issey Miyake (Circular shapes):

Junya Watanabe:

  • He was one of the first designers who was inspired by Mod subculture and created ‘Mod Chic’
  • He was one of three designers in the mid 60’s that started using metallic color & vinyl for the first time. The other two were Paco Rabanne and André Courrèges

His fashion signature is known mostly as ‘Space Age’ futuristic designs inspired by Nasa Space suit and Space travel.

But one thing more than others got my attention, and made me research more on this subject.
I am fascinated by his obsession over CIRCLES, Spheres.

If you look at Dior’s New Look, it’s pretty circular too, with her skirt, jacket peplum part and her hat.
And from his first collection, his Bubble dress.

After 60’s he started to conceptualize his circular designs into more graphic style, moving from the body, and becoming more unisex pieces. They are not about a woman’s body anymore. It’s about circles, spheres and bubbles.

I am sharing some of his designs, and his obsession with circular shape.

Some of his Furniture designs. You’ll also find tons of circular pieces here:

And later in 1991, he bought his dream house, Palais Bulles (Bubble Palace).

It is a large house in Théoule-sur-Mer, near Cannes, France, that was designed by the Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, and built between 1975 and 1989. It was built for a French industrialist, and was later bought by the fashion designer Pierre Cardin as a holiday home.

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