Yesterday, 88-year-old designer Pierre Cardin showed over 200 looks in his spring summer 2011 runway presentation in Paris. And you thought the TPS report you handed in an hour early was impressive.
It was Cardin’s first ready-to-wear show in a decade — perhaps he thought he had a lot of ground to cover. Cardin told WWD that he wanted to prove to the world that “the brand still exists as a creative force,” and not just a licensing operation. And despite his genius and obvious skill, it’d be pretty cheap to just give him a pass and call the entire show genius — there was, as we like to say around these parts, a whole lotta look to go around.
For the man who has as many firsts on his CV as Cardin (first coutourier to design ready-to-wear, first designer to turn to Japan as a high-end market, the list goes on), Cardin’s show looked back on his past work instead of strictly forward into the future. There were the space age fabrics, the geometric cutouts and piping, the irreverant use of ruffles and reimagining of shapes. The way the show was presented was somewhat old fashioned, too — Cardin sent multiple models down the runway at a time, often a man and woman in unisex looks. This sometimes prompted photographers to yell at the models to move so they could get decent shots.
And while a lot of those shots were of relatively high concept looks, there were a lot of very commercial pieces in the collection. There are the women’s skirt suits, for example, or knit sweaters paired with full cut pants. We’re still having trouble figuring out how commercially viable a men’s sequined tanktop is going to be, but his double breasted blazers were a revelation with a nod to the 80s power suits.
We liked the collection. Then again, it was so gargantuan that most people would be hard pressed not to find something they liked. And maybe that was the point.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.