Friday, July 06, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ Pierre Cardin, 90 this week.

Iconic fashion designer Pierre Cardin turned 90 this week, one of the last of his ilk - the Paris haute couture crew of the 1950s and '60s. He's still at the helm of his worldwide business empire, now expanded from clothing into ...well you name it, he probably dabbles in marketing it.

Cardin came from humble beginnings, born, youngest of eleven children to an Italian labourer who, when Pierre was 2 years old, fled with his family into France to escape Mussolini's regime.

Arty from the start, he was fascinated by both costume design and architecture. In 1936 at 14, he became a clothier's apprentice, learning the basics of fashion design and construction. At 17, left home to work for a tailor in Vichy, where he began making suits for women. During the war, he worked in the Red Cross.
He moved to Paris in 1945. There he studied architecture and worked at various fashion houses, eventually becoming head of Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier in 1947. He founded his own fashion house in 1950.

Cardin refused to acknowledge limitations in his designs. His approach was whimsical, futuristic in the extreme - fitting for the era of the "space race". His "bubble dresses" smacked of science fiction. He experimented with unisex designs and geometric designs with nothing in common with female curves.
He used vinyl for some of his dresses, hammered metal rings, decorations of of carpenters nails, and diamonds, catsuits, tight leather trousers, close-fitting helmets and batwing jumpsuits were at one time or another his signature pieces. His earlier designs had been more mainline: raglan sleeved suits and coats, tulip skirts, unstructured chemise-style dresses.

After attaching his name brand to items as diverse as umbrellas and cars - and everything in between - snooty critics lambasted him for "selling out". Reported to run an empire of 450 staff in Paris and 200,000 worldwide almost singlehandedly, and perhaps at times chaotically, the designer has little time to worry about critics. He now claims to own licences for 1,000 or so products sold under his name. His conglomerate includes Paris theatres, Maxim's restaurants, food and drink products, a new golf course, along with fashion and many accessories. Cardin was first of the elite designers to launch a ready-to-wear collection, and first to move into men's fashion, the first to sell his brand-name, first to venture into China, India and Japan, respectively between 30 and 45 years ago.

Recently controversy has brewed over his Provençal castle in Lacoste. It once belonged to the Marquis de Sade. He has partially renovated the site and holds music festivals there. He also bought up many other local properties, turned some of them into art galleries. Villagers resent his attempt to turn their small community into a "cultural St Tropez". He has opened cafés, attracted tourists, but in the process the formerly idyllic rural community has changed immeasurably. Cardin is unrepentant. "Personally I pay no attention to what the people say. They are just jealous," he said in a television interview. "After all, what have they ever done for Lacoste? Absolutely nothing." Hmmmm. He could use a little lesson in tact and diplomacy, I reckon! (Note: Libra rising should know better!)

Cardin also owns a palazzo in Venice named Ca' Bragadin, and a fascinating "Bubble House" - Palais Bulles - just outside of Cannes. It was designed by renowned architect, Antti Lovag. More photos of the interior HERE.


Astrodatabank has a copy of Cardin's birth certificate, copy shown on the website, which proves that the many sources online stating his birthdate as 7 July are incorrect. Astrodatabank (with an "AA") rating states his barth data as: 2 July 1922 in San Biagio Di Callalta, Italy, at 2:00 PM.

"...the clothing I prefer are those I invent for a life that doesn't yet exist-the world of tomorrow!" (Pierre Cardin) - I'm pinpointing mostly from the chart what's relevant to that avant garde, futuristic yen of his, manifesting clearly in his designs.

His natal Sun in Cancer is tightly conjunct Pluto. Normally Cancer is sentimental and nurturing, but in Cardin's case that side of his nature may be somewhat overshadowed by Pluto. I see an echo of this in his draw to owning the former castle of the Marquis de Sade. There's no way of knowing whether any element of darkness resides in his own nature. I somehow doubt it - his passion has been spent in building his business and design empire.

Venus (art) conjunct Neptune (creativity) in Leo (on the public stage) well describes a fashion designer, and in Cardin's case there's an added piece of the picture bringing in his futuristic, "space-age" feel: the Yod (Finger of Fate) pointing sharply to Uranus (everything futuristic) is linking the sextile aspect between Venus/Neptune and Jupiter/Moon to Uranus and forming the Yod, the apex of which, astrologers teach, acts as a "funnel" for the natures of the sextiled planets.

Additionally the Venus/Neptune conjunction forms an harmonious trine aspect to Uranus. Doubly whammy!


Wisewebwoman said...

Never cared for his wayout designs but would give ANYTHING to stay at his bubble house.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Me neither....and me too!

James Higham said...

After all, what have they ever done for Lacoste? Absolutely nothing." Hmmmm. He could use a little lesson in tact and diplomacy

He might beg to differ. ;-)

Twilight said...

James Higham ~~ No doubt. At age 90 I suppose he's earned the right to be cantankerous, but a smidgin of charm costs nothing and smoothes the way, whatever one's age. :-)