Timed for what will be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, the Brooklyn Museum will unveil “Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion,” an exhibition dedicated to the French designer’s seven-decade career.
Cardin’s Space Age fashion and futuristic designs will be launched on July 20 and will run through January 5. The designer was fascinated by the space race of the Sixties. During a visit to NASA, Cardin bribed a security guard to let him try on Neil Armstrong’s space suit. In an interview with WWD, Cardin recalled how he told the security guard, “’Look, sir, my greatest happiness in life would be to try on that suit.’ He told me it was impossible. He was about to put it in a transparent glass case. I said, ‘Listen, be a pal.’ He did me a huge kindness and I gave him a $50 bill. He took my picture. That’s how come I have that photograph.”
The 96-year-old French designer looked to space travel and worlds unknown for futuristic inspiration. The U.S. retrospective will feature 170 pieces that date from the Fifties through the present spotlighting an assortment of ready-to-wear, accessories, photographs, film and other materials from Cardin’s vast archives.
A member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Cardin has met numerous world leaders, artists and cultural forces through the years. His business acumen has resulted in hundreds of licenses. The Brooklyn Museum’s senior curator of fashion and material culture Matthew Yokobosky plans to highlight how the designer’s bold, forward-looking aesthetic has influenced not only fashion, but also furniture, industrial design, and other sectors.
The Space Age couturier is the subject of an upcoming documentary P. David Ebersole is producing with Todd Hughes titled “House of Cardin.” The filmmakers told WWD last year how they had mined facts about Cardin’s life through their research such as his four-year relationship with Jeanne Moreau. The designer’s early days included working for Christian Dior, and Cardin also designed costumes for the 1946 French film “Beauty and the Beast.”
Last year the Savannah College of Art and Design featured Cardin’s designs in “Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future.” That exhibition was held at the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film on its Atlanta campus. In 2017, the Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I., staged a runway show of his work. The designer has said, “The clothes I prefer are the garments I invent for a lifestyle that does not yet exist — the world of tomorrow.”