COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
PIERRE CARDIN

According to the Italian-born, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, “fashion changes too fast to sustain quality couture.”  We recognize this statement’s truth and its irony since it was uttered by the most iconic designer of the 20thcentury.

Cardin’s designs from the 1960s may easily pass for contemporary today. This is because the French designer has always been forward looking. It is also because he bases his creations on the timeless values of comfort, ease of move and impeccable proportions. He combines the science of design with the art of dressmaking and thinks very much like an architect does.

In 1959, Cardin was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for launching a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store. Today when Karl Lagerfeld designs for H & M this is commonplace. Fifty years ago, it was unthinkable for a couturier in Paris to go mainstream. He was reinstated a few years later and has known much success in the fashion and the arts.

This event, along with his “tongue-in-cheek” view of the world and his enthusiasm for innovation, makes me compare him to the great French painter of the nineteenth century, Jean-Léon Gerôme.

© Thomaï Serdari