The most anticipated fashion exhibitions of the new school year

From Paris to New York via London and Marseille, the fall fashion exhibitions return to a little-known counterpart to the work of Man Ray, the history of footwear from the Middle Ages to the present day, the photographs of Tim Walker or how Paris became the fashion capital of the world.

Overview of the most anticipated fashion exhibitions of the fall:

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion

He is the dean of fashion designers: he is approaching 100 years. Yet Pierre Cardin remains the embodiment of a certain modernity, a major actor – if not the first – of this pivotal period in the history of fashion where ready-to-wear takes precedence over haute couture. A sociological revolution whose aesthetic contours he shaped, “always ahead of its time, offering society a new and breathtaking vision of what the future could be” says Matthew Yokobosky , curator of the exhibition Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion , at the Brooklyn Museumfrom New York. The 170 or so objects on display (silhouettes of course, but also drawings, furniture, photographs, videos, accessories, etc.) retrace this fashion utopia which, paradoxically, still seems particularly current. (Jérôme Hanover)

Pierre Cardin two-tone jersey dresses
Pierre Cardin two-tone jersey dresses, with vinyl waders, 1969 © Photo: Yoshi Takata © Pierre Pelegry

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion, Brooklyn Museum, New York, until January 5, 2020

Paris, fashion capital

The Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York pays tribute to Paris in a new exhibition that tells of the development of the Parisian fashion industry and its international influence. From the 18th century to the present day, passing by the couturier Charles Frederick Worth , the birth of haute couture and the time when French couturiers sold their clothes to American brands through licenses, Paris, Capital of fashion highlights the cultural construction of Paris as a nerve center of world fashion.

Paris, Capital of fashion
Paris, Capital of fashion © Emile Pasquier, green and brown changeable velvet and green faille ball gown, 1889 – 1890, France. The Museum at FIT “Französische Modenherrschaft über Europa” (French Fashion Domination over Europe). Etching by Christian Gottlieb Geyser after Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, circa 1780, Germanisches Na tionalmuseum, Nuremberg, HB 25963, Kapsel 1267. © Germanisches Nationalmusuem, photograph: Monika Runge. Light box and graphic imagery provided by Leach, a subsidiary of Chargeurs Pink and green lace patterned silk robe à la française, 1750s, probably France

Paris, Capital of fashion, from September 6 to January 4, 2020 at the Fashion Institute of Technology, 227 W 27th St 10001 New York

Man Ray and fashion

In November, head to Marseille for a new exhibition devoted to fashion photography in the eyes of Man Ray . It will present more than 150 prints by the artist on the border between dada and surrealism, who was one of the first to anchor fashion photography in an artistic practice and not simply documentary and put his talent at the service of Paul Poiret , Elsa Schiaparelli , Coco Chanel , Vogue , Vanity Fair or Harper’s Bazaar . Through the technical and artistic experiments of Man Ray, the exhibition will explore the border between purely artistic work and commissioned work and the birth of a new fashion aesthetic.

Man Ray and fashion, from November 8 to March 8, 2020 at the Cantini Museum, 19 Rue Grignan 13006 Marseille

The history of footwear

The Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris continues its exploration of the relationship between the body and fashion with an exhibition dedicated to shoes, walking and gait. Through more than 500 shoes, paintings, photographs, art objects, films and advertisements, from French and foreign public and private collections, the exhibition looks back on the relationship between shoes and manners, from the shoes of the nobility of the Middle -Age until the recent creations of Iris Van Herpen , exploring in an unprecedented way what their different forms and styles tell about the evolution of different world cultures.

a history of shoes
Pump for Juliette Récamier – 1795-1810, Paris, Museum of Decorative Arts © MAD Paris Photo: Hugues Dubois

Walking and walking, a history of shoes, from November 7 to February 23, 2020 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107-111 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris

Tim Walker’s photographs

For his third solo exhibition, the English photographer, longtime collaborator of Vogue , has chosen to confront his dreamlike universe, at the crossroads of the fashion image and modern fairy tale, with works from the permanent collection of Victoria & Albert Museum . He drew on the museum’s archives to extract the most astonishing works of art, which will dialogue with a series of unpublished photographs constituting the heart of the exhibition, an exclusive series to which Karen Elson and Tilda Swinton notably lent their faces. The exhibition will also revisit some of the oldest photographs of the photographer, who began his career in New York as an assistant to Richard Avedon, before starting to work for Vogue in the 1990s.

Tilda Swinton Fashion: Gucci, Marc Jacobs Jewelery: Lisa Eisner Jewelry, Vela, Uno de 50, A. Brandt + Son Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, 2018 © Tim Walker Studio
© Tilda Swinton Fashion: Gucci, Marc Jacobs Jewelery: Lisa Eisner Jewelry, Vela, Uno de 50, A. Brandt + Son Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, 2018 © Tim Walker Studio

Tim Walker: Wonderful things, from September 21 to March 8, 2020 at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, SW7 2RL London


Pierre Cardin’s Space-Age Fashion Takes Us Back to the Future

Pierre Cardin’s Space-Age Fashion Takes Us Back to the Future

Our museums, movies and magazines have been on a yearslong binge of ’60s nostalgia, pegged to a rolling sequence of 50th anniversaries: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Neil Armstrong, Woodstock and the Manson murders. It seems Americans can’t get enough of the era, and the optimism that percolated amid great social upheaval. But well beyond our borders, before the 1973 oil crisis tanked the global economy, other countries were partying and protesting just as hard, and a youth culture of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll spanned the globe. This country had no monopoly on grooviness.

“Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion,” now on view at the Brooklyn Museum, offers a swinging reintroduction to Parisian style in the 1960s and 1970s, when the New Look gave way to thigh-high boots and dresses of heat-molded synthetics. The Concorde was flying, Françoise Hardy and Joe Dassin were singing and women (and men) cruised the Left Bank in Mr. Cardin’s stretchy knits and swooping miniskirts.

With 85 ensembles, the earliest dating from 1953 and the most recent from this decade, “Future Fashion” is not, strictly speaking, another ’60s show. But its core are the space-age outfits that Mr. Cardin designed in a young, newly prosperous Paris, seen here on mannequins as well as in photographs and films of Jeanne Moreau, Mia Farrow and the cast of “Star Trek.” Some are chic, many are risible; all of it has an exuberant view of the future that marks it as decidedly from the past.

Mr. Cardin, one of the most commercially successful of all French designers (and still working at 97), was never a great artist in the manner of Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. Born Pietro Cardin in 1922, he fled with his family from fascist Italy to Vichy, which would become the seat of France’s nominal government in 1940. After the liberation of France, he moved to Paris and apprenticed with the couturier Jeanne Paquin. Later he worked in the studios of Elsa Schiaparelli and Dior, went into costuming and presented his first couture collection in 1953. He won acclaim for his “bubble dresses” (disappointingly absent from this show), cinched at the waist and hem. Here are a beige coatdress of beige bouclé wool, plus a fitted day suit worn by Jackie Kennedy; both have thick roll collars that would become a Cardin signature.

In 1959, Mr. Cardin did something shocking: He mounted a ready-to-wear presentation, at Printemps department store in Paris. It was one of the first by a named designer, and for his effrontery he was kicked out of the French haute couture guild. (He was later readmitted.) But Mr. Cardin was ahead of his time in anticipating the allure of high fashion for the middle classes, enjoying the 30-year postwar boom later christened the Trente Glorieuses.

He masterminded a business approach now gone general: glamorous couture as a loss-leader, ready-to-wear as the profit center and licensing deals to radiate your name worldwide. It made Mr. Cardin rich — he would go on to buy and to franchise the famed Parisian bistro Maxim’s — even as these licensing arrangements left the Cardin brand, stuck onto bottled water and tinned cassoulet, diffuse and cheapened.

ready to wear presentation
Ensembles from Pierre Cardin’s “Cosmocorps” collections of 1966 and 1967.Credit…Jonathan Dorado/Brooklyn Museum
Ready to Wear Dresses
Mr. Cardin offered extreme shoulders in this leather jacket (1980) and red wool coat with circular details (1981).Credit…Jonathan Dorado/Brooklyn Museum

Where he excelled was in bold, futuristic day wear, often with unorthodox cuts that reshaped or disguised the body. A pink leather jacket from 1980 has bulging shoulders like the pauldrons of medieval armor; the arms of a wool woman’s suit disguise the wearer’s body with oversized fabric circles. One mannequin sports a brown sweater and paneled skirt as well as a Plexiglas helmet, like a on-trend Apollo astronaut. Mr. Cardin took his space travel seriously: In 1969, he went to Houston and quizzed officials at NASA headquarters about how to stay stylish on the moon.

Like his colleagues André Courrèges and Mary Quant, Mr. Cardin proposed a sleek, forward-dawning fashion that sometimes dissolved gender distinctions — above all in his “Cosmocorps” collections of the mid-1960s, whose zipped sweaters and belted jumpsuits could be worn by men and women. Other outfits from the late ’60s are rather less unisex, like a “porthole” dress with cutout nipples. A man’s jumpsuit of teal wool felt features a leather thong worn over the trousers: one part Superman, two parts Tom of Finland.

Especially when compared to the day wear, most of Mr. Cardin’s evening gowns are tacky and uncreative. He is hung up on stretchy fabrics shaped by stiff hoops; one dress of black jersey incorporates six parallel rings, spaced out from the waist to the feet, that give it the look of a collapsible laundry hamper. None of these ensembles, presented together in a pin-lit gallery meant to evoke a sky full of stars, displays any of the exacting craftsmanship that Issey Miyake or Hussein Chalayan would bring to body-disguising gowns. And only a few, like a “light-up” dress with an LED tube sewn onto the chest, have the daffy futurism of the Cosmocorps.


Remember the future? Most of the clothes in “Future Fashion” were made two decades before I was born, and before our ecocidal species had the full number on the uninhabitable earth that awaits us in the 21st century. In the catalog, Mr. Cardin is asked to imagine what we’ll all be wearing five decades from now, and with a laugh he says, “Women will wear Plexiglas cloche hats and tube clothing; men will wear elliptical pants and kinetic tunics.” A nice vision — yet, as this show affirms, also weirdly retro; that was what we were already wearing 50 years previously, not 50 years hence. I’ve been trying to imagine a more serious future fashion for 2069: cuffed, waterproofed trousers for wading through flooded megacities, maybe, or coverall onesies with holsters for ice packs.

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion

Through Jan. 5 at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn; 718-638-5000,

Fashion Goes Out of This World
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Pierre Cardin: Iconic fashion designer honored in ‘Fashion Futurist’ show

The French designer shaped fashion in the 1960s and ’70s with bold colors, futuristic shapes and a daring mix of fabrics. This revolutionary fashion moment is being celebrated in a new exhibition in Düsseldorf.


Geometric patterns, outsized sunglasses in the shape of bulls eyes, a wild mix of fabrics that include vinyl and plexiglass — the bold look created by Paris fashion designer Pierre Cardin caused a sensation in the 1960s and ’70s.

At the “Pierre Cardin. Fashion Futurist” exhibit that opened this week at Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, more than 80 haute couture dresses and accessories from the French designer’s creative peak are on display.

The show focuses on dresses, boots, glasses, and hats, some of which cover the entire face, leaving only a narrow opening for the eyes. According to the museum, the spectrum ranges from “young, androgynous looks” to “futuristic space-age fashion and the dreamy elegance of evening wear.”

Bold look Patterns

Intergalactic fashion 

Cardin created his futuristic look at a time when the first Star Trek episodes hit TV screens.

The use of bright colors, eye-catching cuts, and strong contrasts reflected the intergalactic spirit of the time. The designer’s enthusiasm for astronauts is unmistakable in many of his creations.

Famous actresses including Lauren Bacall, Raquel Welch, and Jeanne Moreau were Cardin fans. Twiggy, a British fashion model, wore Cardin mini dresses in the ’60s, while early Beatles band photos show the Fab Four in his collarless suits.

futuristic look Dresses

At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the German team showed up in unisex Cardin jumpsuits with cut-outs in the stomach and breast areas.

Clear geometric forms, Cardin’s trademark, made not only for recognizable clothing, but also inspired chunky metal jewelry, buttons, and belts. These forms were reinforced by an unusual mix of different fabrics.

chunky metal jewelry

Cardin was especially able to fashion his unique style by cutting fabrics to size on his customers’ bodies, said “Fashion Futurist” curator, Barbara Til.

Still looking ahead

Even at the age of 97, Pierre Cardin is far from considering retirement. Earlier this month, he presented his 2020 Spring/Summer collection in China.

Like in the ’60s and ’70s, the creations are decidedly futuristic. “My favorite clothes are those I create for a life that doesn’t even exist yet — for the world of tomorrow,” Cardin once said.

“Pierre Cardin. Fashion Futurist” runs through January 5, 2020, at Kunstpalast Düsseldorf



Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion is the first New York retrospective in forty years to focus on the legendary couturier. Drawn primarily from Pierre Cardin’s archive, the exhibition traverses the designer’s decades-long career at the forefront of fashion invention. Known today for his bold, futuristic looks of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Cardin extended his design concepts from fashion to furniture, industrial design, and beyond.

The exhibition presents over 170 objects drawn from his atelier and archive, including historical and contemporary haute couture, prêt-à-porter, trademark accessories, “couture” furniture, lighting, fashion sketches, personal photographs, and excerpts from television, documentaries, and feature films. The objects are displayed in an immersive environment inspired by Cardin’s unique atelier designs, showrooms, and homes.

Future of Fashion

Highlights of Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion include rare designs in luxury fabrics from the 1950s; a large grouping from the landmark 1964 “Cosmocorps” collection, which sought to streamline menswear by eliminating excessive detailing; creations that incorporate vinyls, plastics, and the self-named Cardine synthetic fabric; signature unisex ensembles featuring full knit bodysuits with layered skirts, vests, bibs, and jewelry; iconic broad-shouldered jackets from the 1980s based on Japanese origami, Chinese architecture, and American football uniforms; “illuminated” jumpsuits and dresses; recent couture eveningwear; and an extensive overview of Cardin’s recently designed couture menswear.

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion is curated and designed by Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum.

Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by

Generous support is provided by Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch.

With special thanks to SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, and SCAD: The University for Creative Careers.