25 January 2018

A sweet homage to the visionary.

On April 24, 1970, on his 18th birthday, a young man came home from his school and got the news that the design portfolio sent by her mother got him job interview with Pierre Cardin, one of the fashion prominences of his era. And after a brief, tense historical interview the days later, he got a job as Cardin's junior studio team to prepare a couture collection in July 1970. His name was Jean Paul Gaultier.

And nearly 48 years later, Jean Paul Gaultier dedicated his own collection to his first boss on the stage of haute couture: Monsieur Pierre Cardin.

Pierre Cardin is the legendary figure of the fashion world. As the world's oldest couturier (albeit inactive), the 95-year-old Pierre Cardin sit in the front row to watch the haute couture performance of one of his protégés.

Staged in front of a series of alternating light panels that remind many of the Cardin era from early Futurism to Pop Star styles and bold 1960s psychedelic graphics, this collection was opened by some holographic dresses with black and white whirl followed by an extraordinary tuxedo with leather tassels. Meanwhile, Space Age moments of Pierre Cardin's creations are hinted at by extraterrestrial hairstyles - hair bobs cut with origami precision - and some jackets with stiffness like superheroes. He also threw some of his own classic pieces, especially the trench-coat dress with the leg-o-mutton arm that received an instant ovation. Gaultier even brought Cardin's inspired influence from the east - Pierre was the first western designer to sell his jeans in Russia and the first designer to have a restaurant brand, Maxim ', which opened in Beijing. The result: a mono-colored waffle jacquard jersey that resembles the empress of the modern Ming dynasty.

"My first job in the fashion world was with Pierre Cardin. Of course he is actually Italian, the real name is Pietro Cardini from the Venetian-born family. I started working in his studio on my 18th birthday. You can imagine. It has been a long time,” said Jean Paul Gaultier who is now 65 years old.

"Pierre Cardin is a miracle, and I feel it is right to pay homage to the designer who has opened so many doors to all of us. Imagine the freedom and creativity he strived for! Without a large organization, Pierre Cardin has changed the history of fashion," shared Jean-Paul Gaultier behind the crowded stage, where other renowned designer, Nicholas Ghesquière Louis Vuitton, Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard and Indonesian-born musician Anggun C. Sasmi joined in a photo session with paparazzi.

Jean Paul Gaultier was one of The Show Men in the haute couture arena, and as one of the finales, he made a sky-blue dress with asymmetrical construction, worn by Coco Rocha, as well as a mini version worn by her toddler daughter, Ioni Conran. Together, they paraded Gaultier's clothing by dancing and running along the runway, accompanied by a thundering applause.

Jean Paul Gaultier is one of the few grand couturiers who are born, educated and trained in France. One day, it is very likely that he will become a legend himself, like the man whom he respects with this collection.