A Blockbuster Pierre Cardin Retrospective At The Brooklyn Museum Shows Why The World Still Hasn’t Caught Up With The Legendary 97-Year-Old Designer

Pierre Cardin already has plans for attiring people in 2069. According to the legendary 97-year-old designer, “women will wear Plexiglas cloche hats and tube clothing; men will wear elliptical pants and kinetic tunics.” In other words, it will be the ‘60s a all over again.

Cardin has staked many claims to fame over the eight decades of his career, from the unprecedented ready-to-wear line he introduced in 1959 to the costumes he designed for the Beatles in 1963 to his audacious brand extensions into eyewear and cosmetics in the ‘70s. He has designed cars and airplanes and even invented a new moldable fabric called Cardine. Through all of this – much of which is included in an extensive retrospective currently at the Brooklyn Museum – Cardin anticipated the celebrity-driven mass-produced branding opportunity that mainstream fashion has become, while also helping to redefine the role of the designer as an industry-independent choreographer of desire. But the work most likely to stand the test of time – probably well beyond 2069 – is the space-age Cosmocorps collection he first presented in 1964.

The Cosmocorps line was designed for the final frontier in fashion. “I imagined wearing these costumes in space,” Cardin explains in an interview for the Brooklyn Museum exhibition catalogue. Just three years after Yuri Gagarin was launched into orbit, and five years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first posed for photos on the Moon, Cardin was contemplating a cosmic brand extension, and considering what the space suit might look like if the design weren’t strictly utilitarian.

Although Cardin was not scientific about it – as space suit designers such as Dava Newman are today – the Cosmocorps gambit was more than a mere marketing ploy. (If that were the only point, it would have been a flop. Cardin reveals in his catalogue interview that his space-age attire sold terribly. “I had to create clothes that were more classic and therefore more commercial,” he admits, explaining many of the contradictory aspects of his career, in which conventional distinctions between avant-garde and suburban mall are simply ignored.) Through Cosmicorps, Cardin explored how social dynamics might manifest on other planets. For instance he advanced the possibility that ideas about gender might become less fixed in microgravity, by creating unisex attire that challenged terrestrial mores. In a way, his fashion paralleled the Soviet space program, which treated men and women as equals and dressed them in the same way. However the motivations of the Soviet government were fundamentally pragmatic. Cardin, on the other hand, had no restrictions; he could just as well have designed lunar ball gowns.

Cosmocorps was equally notable for provoking people to think about colonization of other planets in a tangible way. Of course colonization scenarios were already a staple of science fiction, familiar plot lines in movies and books. However there’s an important distinction between seeing or reading about possible futures and actually trying them on for size. The Cosmocorps line is not costume. These garments weren’t made to realize a movie or TV series. (Cardin did that too. He costumed the John Steed and Emma Peel characters for The Avengers.)

(Source-: forbes.co)


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

(Source-: vogue.fr)