Organized exactly 30 years to the day since the late designer was inducted into the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts, the event at Maxim’s attracted many Immortals, the title given to citizens inducted into any of the Institut de France’s five academies. Established in 1795, the Institut is a learned society that also manages foundations, museums and chateaus.
Cardin, who died in 2020 at age 98, was the first couturier to be inducted, and the academy continues to award a design prize in his name. Indeed, it was so meaningful to the Itallian-born fashion maverick that he was buried in his ceremonial uniform, decorated with embroideries of olive branches, and his sword.
Cardin also staged his 70th anniversary at the gold-domed Institut de France, which houses the Académie Francaise that governs the language.
“It was so important to him,” said his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin, president and artistic director of Pierre Cardin, who wrote the foreword for a new velvet-covered tome detailing the milestone.
But knowing Cardin always liked to look to the future, Basilicati-Cardin invited a host of figures from the aerospace industry to the celebration, and also French architect Jacques Rougerie, who hopes his flagship project SeaOrbiter — a semi-submersible research vessel that resembles a futuristic robot seahorse — will come to fruition soon.
Artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, who was inducted into the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2021 dressed in a uniform by Dior’s Kim Jones, revealed that he would open a new artistic residency program for the academy next April.
It will be housed in a small chateau outside of Paris, where 10 young artists — including painters, sculptors, musicians and engravers — will work toward a group show.
“It will be very exciting. It’s this idea of transmission. It was the goal of Monsieur Cardin,” he said.
Othoniel said he’s also working on a project for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden adjacent to the Brooklyn Museum. He said he would “play with the ponds” and unveil the new works in the fall of 2023.