License to Chillby Pia Presha / 05.11.2010
During the lull, while people take their seats, while the uninvited, the late, the hangers on, shuffle in for standing room only, an entire spin cycle of musings muddle in my mind. It’s Friday night, October 29th at 7pm and I am at the Pierre Cardin Spring 2011 Collection at MILK Studios in New York City’s Meat Packing District.
The soundtrack is a continuous click, click, click, click of cameras.
And over there is menswear designer Joseph Abboud talking to frazzled blondes flipping through the pages of “the list”. The list, that’s always wrong – names, names, names. In the guarded cocktail reception area, all those bottles of booze glimmering in the studio lights, waiting until after the show to pop. Pierre Cardin, at 87-years old, is celebrating “60 years of innovation” – it’s his third night of showmanship this week, with his book launch on the Tuesday, and the Fashion Gala event where he was honored for “a life time achievement” the night before. And here he is again, showcasing his 2011 collection which could be 1967 – I only wish it was. The Pierre Cardin pull quote on the invite is pretty far out. “My favorite garment is the one I invent for a life that does not yet exist, in the world of tomorrow.” Having successfully branded everything on the planet for over 60 years, sounds like Pierre has plans to license the after life.
Surveying the crowd, I am bored by how square they are. Only one person has followed fashion show tradition by paying homage to the designer – wearing vintage circa 1970 giant Pierre Cardin vinyl eyewear. Where are the hipsters, hustlers and handball players to hold court at the open bar? Not here, only their ghosts roam the Meat Packing District late at night. In New York City, authenticity is an endangered species.
Bravo Pierre Cardin: bad boy of fashion, who promiscuously licensed his name all over town. Since the 50’s Pierre Cardin’s name has been on every where: on sardines, Bordeaux wine, mattresses, beach towels, tube socks, and even briefly, a Pierre Cardin car. And while he was busy cashing those licensing checks, furnishing his homes with his name-brand, and getting expelled from the snooty haute couture world for launching ready-to-wear, Pierre’s been sipping Martini’s with models in cocktail dresses with conical breasts and porthole sunglasses with vinyl collars at his space age bubble home in Cannes, at his ruined castle in France that was once inhabited by the Marquis De Sade, and at his large palazzo in Venice, formerly owned by Giacomo Casanova. No wonder he has not bothered visiting New York for over 10 years. The city that once never slept is a yawn.