Help Pierre Cardin Celebrate His 95th Birthday at The Breakers

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Dresses from Pierre Cardin’s 1968 Cardine collection were made from technologically advanced thermo-formed textiles. Photo courtesy of Pierre Cardin Archives. 

Pierre Cardin has been an integral part of women’s fashion during the past century; now it’s time to put him on your essential summer bucket list.

When the Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation exhibit opens at Rosecliff next month, it will feature 42 original pieces from Cardin’s private archives. The show, which opens on May 27 and runs through the end of the year, documents his prolific career from the 1950s through his 2016 spring-summer collection. The elucidating exhibit will include pieces from the 1960s space-age Cosmocorps collection, unisex jumpsuits from the 1972 Olympics, and the technologically advanced Cardine dress, made of thermo-formed fabric.

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Cardin designed this silver leather jacket and sequined mini skirt in 1985. Photo courtesy of the Pierre Cardin Archives.

The legendary designer will also host a runway show of his vintage and contemporary work at The Breakers on June 17. The event will end with cake and champagne, as guests are invited to celebrate Cardin’s upcoming 95th birthday (which occurs on July 2) along with him.

Cardin began working in haute couture with Christian Dior in 1946, where he helped develop the “New Look” – more modern shapes and forms for dresses – that would change women’s fashion forever. Just four years later, Cardin founded his own eponymous line. In 1959 he further shocked the world once again when he presented a ready-to-wear collection – one of the first to take high fashion and make it more accessible to a broader audience.

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This thermo-formed dress, which will be on display at Rosecliff, was worn by Lauren Bacall in 1968. Photo courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County.

In the 1960s Cardin fell in love with the great race to space. His futuristic fashions followed, but he also went on to design space suits for NASA. He quickly gained an audience with some of the time’s most glamorous and influential women, including Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, and Charlotte Rampling. Today, the brand continues to sell goods internationally, and his name remains cemented among the fashion houses of history.

Pierre Cardin, 1990 (courtesy Archives Pierre Cardin)

Pierre Cardin photographed in 1990; he’ll celebrate his 95th birthday this summer at The Breakers. Photo courtesy of the Archives Pierre Cardin.

Meaghan O'Neill is a writer, editor, blogger wrangler, and the founder of Puddingstone Post. She was formerly editor-in-chief of TreeHugger, Discovery Channel online, and TLC's Parentables. Her writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications, and her book, Ready, Set, Green: 8 Weeks to Modern Eco-Living (Villard/Random House) was published in 2008. She lives in Newport, RI with her family.

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