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  • Pierre Cardin’s designs (1968)

  • Pierre Cardin’s “Past-Present-Future” museum in Paris. Photo by Dominique Maître

  • Pierre Cardin in his new “Past-Present-Future” museum in Paris. Photo by Dominique Maître


Pierre Cardin’s new “Past-Present-Future” museum in Paris

Pierre Cardin, the 92-year couturier who is famous for his futuristic forms and avant-garde designs, recently inaugurated his new “Past-Present-Future” museum at Le Marais district in Paris. Spanning over 1,000 square feet, the museum houses more than 200 haute-couture looks covering the designer’s prolific career, from his first collection in 1953 to his iconic bubble dress. It also showcases a wide selection of accessories, among them space-inspired hats, geometric jewelry and oversized eyewear, as well as Cardin’s experimentations with design, including prototypes of chairs, lamps and tables.

“Past-Present-Future” tells the story of the nonconformist, Italian-born designer that incarnated the spirit of the 60’s, formed part of the prêt-à-porter revolution and managed to build and entire empire of licensed products on his own. Since he moved to Paris with his parents in 1924, Cardin showed an amazing talent for fashion and worked for the houses of Paquin and Schiaparelli before joining Christian Dior’s atelier in 1947. After failing to work with Balenciaga in 1950, Cardin decided to open his own business. His experimental designs and his fascination with the Space Age were not well received in the beginning by his fellow fashion designers, but they finally defined a whole era and earned him a prominent place in fashion history.

“Before, people thought my taste was crazy. (…) I can’t tell you what they said and wrote, but they did not understand me. I was different, a nonconformist — like a magazine doing very provocative things, compared with a traditional newspaper,” the designer told recently WWD, adding: “What interests me is reproducing volumes and shapes and materials seen through completely new eyes. They are works of art, you understand –– they’re not clothes.” Pierre Cardin’s new “Past-Present-Future” museum, which was relocated from its previous base in Saint-Ouen to a former tie-factory in the central Marais district in order to draw bigger crowds, offers visitors the unique opportunity to discover the creative universe of the celebrated designer and delivers, according to Pierre Cardin, “a legacy for a couturier who came from nothing”.