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Au revoir, Monsieur Cardin

December 31, 2020 09:28 IST

Pierre Cardin passed into the ages this week.

The legendary designer, who was way ahead of his time, had a career that spanned over 70 years.

As it announced his death, his official Instagram account posted one of his memorable quotes which read: 'I have always worked in my own style, which is different from all others.

'It was always my intention to be different, because that is the only way to last.'

IMAGE: Pierre Cardin in front of his store in Paris.
Next to the store is his museum Past-Present-Future, which opened on November 13, 2014.
The museum showcases the designer's career and creative passion with some 200 couture pieces, as well as hats, shoes, pieces of jewellery and furniture.
Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Born on July 7, 1922 in a small town near Venice, Italy, Cardin became an apprentice to a tailor at the age of 14.

Hailing from a modest, working-class family, his family moved to Saint Etienne in central France when he was just a child.

Cardin was a visionary, who revolutionised the fashion scene in the 1950s and 1960s.

According to The New York Times, 'In a career spanning more than three-quarters of a century, he remained a futurist.'

Known as a designer to the elite, he set up his fashion company in 1950 when he was just 27.

By the end of the 1950s, Cardin transformed the business of fashion by reproducing garments for ready-to-wear consumption.


IMAGE: Cardin in front of his 1954-1956 fashion creations at his museum Past-Present-Future in Paris.
Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Starting with fashion, he went on to sell sunglasses, perfumes, furniture and even luggage.

In 1959, when haute couture houses dominated the fashion scene in Paris, he introduced pret-a-porter (ready-to-wear) garments in a department store.

A really bold step for a designer, the move paid off well and brought fashion to the masses.

'The dresses I prefer are the ones I invent for a life that does not exit yet: The world of tomorrow,' he said in an interview.

Among his earliest designs, he will be remembered for his iconic bubble dress, aviator jumpsuit and space age-inspired outfit.

His bubble dress, which was introduced in the mid-1950s, elevated his position as a futuristic designer.

How can we forget his collar-less jackets which were worn by the Beatles? Or his ready-to-wear collection featuring printed shirts and ties?

Scroll down to take a look at his fabulous journey:


IMAGE: Cardin, right, fitting a suit for a male model.
This photograph was taken on February 15, 1966.
Photograph: Reg Lancaster/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


IMAGE: Danish model Maud flaunts in a trilby (narrow-brimmed hat) designed by Cardin.
She is dressed in a lapel-less overcoat.
Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images


IMAGE: A Pierre Cardin sheath dress in navy blue crepe.
Featuring a plunging neckline dramatised by a single white camellia, the blue silhouette is worn with a schoolgirl style beret.
Photograph: Evening Standard/Getty Images


IMAGE: Cardin outside his store in 1979.
By the late 1950s, he had laid the foundations of his global empire.
He was among the first international designers whose designs travelled to Moscow, Tokyo and Beijing.
Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images


IMAGE: Cardin was presented the Commander of the Legion d'Honneur, one of France's highest honours.
Photograph: Gareth Watkins/Reuters


IMAGE: Nelson Mandela after a lunch with Cardin. They were both July born, four years apart.
When Mandela, who has been criticised by some for his taste in casual ethnic shirts, was asked by Cardin where he got his shirts, he replied that most of them were given to him as gifts.
Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters


IMAGE: Cardin snapped at the marriage of French actress Courau to Emanuele Filiberto.
Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters


IMAGE: Models present creations by Cardin as part of the Four Seasons fashion show collection in Mexico City, November 23, 2005.
Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters


IMAGE: Cardin and model Jasmine Lennard attend the MTV Cannes Film Festival party at the Le Palais Bulles on May 20, 2006 in Cannes.
Photograph: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images


IMAGE: Models present creation by Cardin as part of his 2009 Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter ready-to-wear fashion collection in Theoule-sur-Mer, southern France, October 6, 2008.
His designs were inspired mostly by geometric shapes and bright, bold fabrics.
Often he played around with materials like silver foil, vinyl and paper.
If you take a closer look at his designs, you'll notice he had the ability to sculpt garments with architectural sensibilities.
Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


IMAGE: Cardin at the launch of the Digital Fine Art exhibition at the Espace Pierre Cardin on April 24, 2010 in Paris.
Photograph: Julien M Hekimian/Getty Images


IMAGE: The opening cocktail at the Musee Pierre Cardin on November 13, 2014 in Paris.
Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


IMAGE: Cardin at the Pierre Cardin Evolution Boutique at the Musee Pierre Cardin in Paris.
Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


IMAGE: Maryse Gaspard and guests toast Cardin on his 95th birthday during the Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation fashion show at The Breakers, June 17, 2017 in Newport, Rhode Island.
Photograph: JP Yim/Getty Images


IMAGE: Models walk the runway during the Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation show on Rhode Island.
'I'm always inspired by something outside, not the body itself,' he told The New York Times in 1985.
According to him, clothing was meant 'to give the body its shape, the way a glass gives shape to the water poured into it.'
Photograph: JP Yim/Getty Images


IMAGE: A view of the opening of the Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion Retrospective Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, July 17, 2019 in New York City.
Photograph: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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