P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes’s new documentary, House of Cardin, charts the still moving career trajectory of Pierre Cardin, from birth to today.
Ebersole and Hughes, are big fans and serious collectors of Cardin’s work,
“This man loves the future and intends to see it.”
We are Cardinophiles. When we started to decorate our house five years ago, we made a remarkable discovery: Pierre Cardin, who we had only known as the maker of our adolescent cologne, was also the maker of beautiful and sophisticated modern furniture. As we began to collect extraordinary Cardin pieces, we got more and more interested, finding an entire new world of not just furniture but lifestyle.
Fate was with us, and in the summer of 2017, we met the mythic man himself. Cardin has never wanted a biography written about him and had refused all offers of a documentary. Until we looked into each other’s eyes and [he] said yes to us on the spot.
‘When do you want to start?'”
“It is no easy task to fit a 97-year life into a 97-minute film. We have traveled around the world, following in his footsteps, where we discovered he was the first to seek to unite diverse cultures and people through the line and the cut of fashion.”
The filmmakers say,
Our cast was a dream, and though peppered with some very large personalities… Naomi Campbell was one of the handful of current stars to wear vintage Cardin on the red carpet…. Sharon Stone eagerly agreed to an interview and to wear vintage Cardin that was flown in from his museum in Paris. Jean-Paul Gaultier was perhaps the most difficult to lock in, but only because of his busy schedule…
When research revealed that musicians Jean-Michel Jarre, Alice Cooper and Dionne Warwick had all played at the Espace Cardin during its 52 year run, email inquiries were returned in record time with great enthusiasm to participate in the documentary, and all delivered uniquely interesting anecdotes, with a fierce admiration and respect for Mr. Cardin.
The film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, and Cardin was in attendance, in the city of his birth. When he stood up in the theater after seeing the finished product for the first time, the crowd surrounded him with a standing ovation and he said,
“It’s all true!”
The designer remains sharp as a tack and a speaking of his early days in fashion, he says jokingly,
“I was quite a good looking young man, so everyone wanted to sleep with me.”
A protege of Christian Dior, Cardin’s early work under his own label, was very much the style of the time. In the decade that took us to the moon, Cardin introduced his futuristic “lunar” fashions for men and women.
But just a third of House of Cardin is devoted to his fashion fashion and the directors bring home Cardin’s preeminence as a businessman. Cardin pioneered the licensing model that generates income for luxury brands to this day.
When I asked the Cardin what he’s most proud of, he said,
“I’m most happy that I remained in creation, always remaining popular and always continuing to create. The house of Saint Laurent said:
‘Oh, Cardin, we won’t hear from him in another year;’ and I’ve always continued; and Saint Laurent, unfortunately, he stopped.”