SHOW MUST GO ON: Just days from flying to the U.S. for a retrospective fashion show at The Breakers Saturday night in Newport, R.I., Pierre Cardin has had to bow out since he is recovering from a recent fall. But the runway show for 150 guests is to go on as scheduled and the 94-year-old designer’s A-team is already on the ground in Rhode Island. Cardin’s muse and head of haute couture, Maryse Gaspard, who first met the designer as a teenage model and has been working with him for 50-plus years, is heading up a team which includes Cardin’s grandson Rodrigo Basilicati. The musician Matthew Gonder plans to sing a few tunes and will share a few colorful stories about Cardin, while emceeing the show.
“I regretfully inform you that I will not be able to travel to Newport due to a recent accident,” the designer said in a statement. “Please forgive me and inform everyone involved of my unforeseen absence. Sadly, I will not have the pleasure to be with you to attend the show that I personally designed, from start to finish, for Newport. I wish you much success in this incredible enterprise, and the show must go on.”
Guests at “Pierre Cardin: A Gala Celebration” will get a glimpse of 100 of the designer’s looks through the years including a few new creations. The event will serve as a fund-raiser for the Preservation Society of Newport County, which works to protect the architectural, decorative arts, landscape and social history of 11 historic properties and landscapes. Known as the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages,” The Breakers was originally built for Cornelius Vanderbilt as a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th-century palaces of Genoa and Turin. After the show, guests had planed to wish Cardin an early happy 95th birthday with a cake during the Champagne reception on the loggia.
Rosecliff, another nearby Newport manse, is to host “Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation,” an exhibition of the designer’s work spanning from the Fifties through last year’s spring collection. Styles from his Sixties Cosmocorps collection, unisex jumpsuits for the 1972 Olympics and the thermo-formed fabric dress worn by Lauren Bacall in 1968.