Born in Italy, radicalized in France, Pierre Cardin was the greatest avant-garde designer of all the time.
In 1936, the fourteen year-old Pierre Cardin began his apprenticeship with a tailor in Saint-Étienne; after a brief experience at Manby, a tailor in Vichy, in 1945 he arrived in Paris, working first for Jeanne Paquin and then for Elsa Schiaparelli.
First tailor man of the Christian Dior maison during its opening in 1947 (after being rejected by Cristóbal Balenciaga), he participated in the success of the master who defined the New Look.
Monsieur Dior, about Pierre Cardin, said:
There is a distinct Cardin look. It’s based on geometry; it’s sculptural and sometimes kinetic. It also tends to the clean and minimal, and it’s been applied to dresses and furniture, even real estate. Though Cardin didn’t design the famous Palais Bulles (Bubble Palace), he bought it in 1991 and oversaw its completion. This some 37 years after introducing his first hit, the bubble skirt. Some of Cardin’s work is indisputably far-out, but much of it stands the test of time, as do some of the concepts behind it. At Cardin, noted to Vogue in 1964,
Space Age, his 1960 collection inspired by space, in the era of the race to the moon, with white dresses and geometric shapes is a second historical paragraph of his fashion. In that collection there is much of a fashion that we still wear today between ups and downs but it was he who conceived it: the cut-out dresses, that is with the cuts, the very tight knitted catsuit jumpsuits, the skin-tight leather pants and the sweaters with batwing sleeves. Moreover, already in those years Cardin began the conversion of what fashion would have been in the future, starting with unisex with clothes that ignore the gender, truly a revolution for the times when women’s fashion was the exaltation of forms.
Pierre Cardin was an avant-garde in love with geometric architectures translated into well-designed lines, shapes and volumes. Pierre Cardin’s features were able to make rigid segments flexible, giving the structure of the dress what we would now call a contemporary mood.