Pierre Cardin The Visionary
Pierre Cardin in Mykonos, the visionary designer who clothed the elite but also transformed the business of fashion, reaching the masses by affixing his name to an outpouring of merchandise ranging from off-the-rack apparel to bath towels, died on Tuesday in Neuilly-sur-Seine, just outside Paris. He was 98.
His designs were influenced by geometric shapes
In a career of more than three-quarters of a century, Mr. Cardin remained a futurist. “He had this wonderful embrace of technology and was in love with the notion of progress,” said Andrew Bolton, the head curator at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
As the space age dawned, Mr. Cardin dressed men, and women, in spacesuits. In 1969, NASA commissioned him to create an interpretation of a spacesuit, a signal inspiration in his later work. “The dresses I prefer,” he said at the time, “are those I invent for a life that does not yet exist.”
His designs were influenced by geometric shapes, often rendered in fabrics like silver foil, paper and brightly colored vinyl. The materials would shape the dominant aesthetic of the early 1960s. It was a new silhouette that “denied the body’s natural contours and somehow seemed asexual,” Mr. Bolton said.
Designer of the Olympic Airways flight attendant uniforms
Pierre Cardin, was the designer of the Olympic Airways flight attendant uniforms in the glory days of the airline. The French-Italian fashion designer’s revolutionary styles of the 1960s and the 1970s were a crucial part of the youth explosion of the era, worn by the likes of the Beatles and other international celebrities in the swinging sixties. Impressed by the modern, stylish clothes of the designer, Greek shipping mogul Aristotle Onassis decided to hire Cardin to design the uniforms for the flight attendants.