Long before Bowie’s futuristic alter ego Ziggy Stardust fell to earth in his glittering, striped jumpsuit, exalted designer Pierre Cardin was imagining an otherworldly sartorial future. While beloved amongst fashionistas for his space age designs and gender-bending approach to style, Cardin is perhaps best known for his infamous licensing deals (something that hadn’t really been done before the 1960s), that lent his signature to everything from sheets to sunglasses, amassing him a fortune in the process.
Beyond his immediately recognizable logo, though, few know much about the man or the contributions the 97-year-old icon has made to art and culture.
Most thrillingly then, a new film, House of Cardin, offers a rare peek into Cardin as the genius and visionary he genuinely was (and is). The authorized feature documentary by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes chronicles his life and illustrious career through archival footage, and interviews with cross cultural luminaries such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Philippe Starck, as well as muses Naomi Campbell and Sharon Stone. There are also fascinating conversations with Pierre himself.
The first public trailer has just been released, and in it we are transported back to his extravagant fashion shows, including a breathtaking spectacle at the Great Wall of China. Campbell, Stone and supermodel Jenny Shimizu all express their earnest admiration (“He was the first designer to get into diversity,” observes the latter), while design legend Starck perhaps most perfectly sums up Cardin’s legacy: “He’s not of the modern style; he’s modern. He has a modern way of thinking.”