Sunday, July 21, 2019


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Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at The Brooklyn Museum / Illumination display with Cadin's robes électroniques 

These days, the mention of "Pierre Cardin," reverts to a logo with the swirly "P" and a fashion house of parents or generations past. With fading prominence and the lack of a retail presence, a New York retrospective is a timely reminder of the French fashion great. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion opens July 20th at the Brooklyn Museum. At the press preview Wednesday morning, Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture praises Cardin as a "disruptor" of his time and declares, "This is an opportunity to reacquaint people with him... and make new friends." Keep reading for a look inside the exhibit and Pierre Cardin's futuristic vision... 

Pierre Cardin: Future of Fashion at the Brooklyn Museum opening display

New materials paired with minimalism and geometric acuity adopt an asexual, space-aged aesthetic at the hand of Cardin's seven decades-long creative career. Across all of Cardin's varied collections, main themes of futuristic thought remain paramount in his timeless, "voguish-now-vintage" pieces. Throughout the exhibit, over 170 objects--primarily from the designer's atelier and archives--chronicle a man whose creative vigor extends beyond fashion into furniture, fragrances, home decor, custom accessories, theatrics, cars, restaurants and more.    

Long dress with parabolic effect

Moving through each of the 19 sections, visitors get a glimpse of Cardin's career and thought progression. The main area resembles a long runway, lined with grouped clusters of avant-garde garments and other items against large circular photographic backdrops. Short films, photographs and sketches provide added context. Standouts include pieces from Cardin's 1964 Cosmocorps collection, his signature 'target' dress and a 1969 photograph of Cardin wearing an Apollo 11 space suit. Clothing constructed of 'Cardine'-- the designer's self-made synthetic fabric that could be heat-embossed into 3D shapes--is also available for viewing up close.

Red mohair coat, part of Cardin's earliest collections (1952)

Entering the far gallery, guests are transported into an intergalactic setting with glowing star fields and a dynamic 28-foot illuminated ring. Cardin's future-forward thinking is embedded in the shine and sparkle used to accent space-aged silhouettes. As a trailblazing couturier, Cardin was the first European designer to show in Asia (Japan, China, India and Vietnam)--even presenting his 2007 collection at the Gobi Desert in China and staging his 2018 retrospective runway show at the Great Wall. As an entrepreneurial spirit, Cardin was a father of many firsts--the first couturier to peddle ready-to-wear, the first to use plastics in clothes and the first to license his name-- over a lifetime, his curvy P logo was stamped on over 850 licenses!

Installation view of Democratization and Pluralization

The now-97-year-old designer was born in San Biagio di Callalta, Italy into a family of 12 (10 children). He grew up in France, after his family fled Fascism. As a teenager, Cardin began training as a tailor. He proceeded to work at Paquinand later for Schiaparelli. Incidentally, Cardin was Christian Dior's first hire at the Dior atelier. 1950, Cardin started his own design house and kick-started the brand by designing 30 costumes for a masquerade ball in Venice, thought to be the "party of the century."

Evening dresses

In this NYC retrospective of Pierre Cardin--the first in 40 years (preceded by exhibits at SCAD Fash in Atlanta and "The Breakers" in Newport)--visitors are given a comprehensive front-row-feature of the celebrated couturier. The exhibit will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from July 20th to January 5, 2020. Timed tickets may be found here.

Signature Pierre Cardin -- minimalist, mini skirts and strategically placed circles / cutouts

Installation view Twenty-First-Century-Unisex with "CosmoCorps" ensembles

Installation view Hats and Helmets

Installation view Bold Shoulders 

Pierre Cardin acquired the "bubble palace" or Palace of Bubbles in 1992; the circle motif in his designs stems from this place

Background photo of Raquel Welsh in a Pierre Cardin outfit (1970) / Cardin used vinyl and his self-invented Cardine fabric

Installation view Gender-Released Dressing

Installation view A Future For Everyone / photo by Yoshi Takata: Pierre Cardin 2-tone jersey dresses w/vinyl waders (1969) 

[M] Vinyl bandeau + mini (1968) / [R] wool + leather porthole dress (1968)

Installation view, looking back from the exit

installation view: Couture Furniture and Industrial Design

 Gallery inspired by Cardin's love of space and stargazing

The gallery features a 28-foot illuminated ring with 1,400 pixels of multicolored lights and images of star fields. from NASA

 Sparkly and glittery  for femmes and hommes

 Solid colors + minimalism

 Be-dazzled! Installation view Starry Evening 

Quote in the elevator to get to the 5th floor exhibit

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