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From his spacesuits for NASA and collarless jackets for The Beatles, to his looks for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Brigitte Bardot, and Jeanne Moreau, Pierre Cardin’s work is nothing if not versatile. In celebration of his seven-decade fashion legacy, the Italian-born designer has curated a retrospective at Rosecliff in Newport, Rhode Island featuring 42 of his most iconic pieces.
Located on the mansion’s second floor galleries, the show, titled "Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation," opens with Cardin’s signature shift dresses and expands to include unisex jumpsuits made for the 1972 Olympics, a thermo-formed fabric "Cardine" dress worn by Lauren Bacall in 1968, and a range of menswear pieces. Beyond fashion, the exhibition explores Cardin’s other passions—including art, architecture, furniture design, and cuisine—with vignettes of his Parisian Belle Epoque restaurant, Maxim’s, and a spotlight on his Antti Lovag-constructed Bubble Palace in Cannes.
To kick off the exhibition and simultaneously celebrate his 95th birthday, Cardin curated a runway show at the Breakers—the Vanderbilts' former 70-room summer estate where the affluent family resided for six to eight weeks each year—spotlighting 90 original designs. Unfortunately, Cardin was unable to attend due to a fall in his Parisian flat the day prior, but he sent his trusty crew in his stead (including his model muse and director of haute couture, Maryse Gaspard, and nephew and advisor, Rodrigo Basilicata). His longtime friend, Matthew Gonder, performed at the show to an audience of 250 guests.
On view now through January 1, 2018, the exhibition is included in regular Rosecliff (548 Bellevue Ave.) tour admission and all proceeds benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County.