A VISIONARY HAND
“Powerful hands that echo his origins to the land. Born in Veneto, Pierre Cardin comes from a family of farmers …” It is with great emotion that Jean Pascal Hesse, Pierre Cardin’s Head of Communication narrates the exceptional career of “this little boy from a modest and precarious background, who arrived from Italy at the age of two in the 1920s”, and “who reigned over fashion and couture with mastery, for seven decades”. To celebrate the centennial of the designer’s birth, his latest book, Pierre Cardin, Mode, Mythe, Modernité, jointly authored by Pierre Pelegry, (Flammarion), is arguably the most intimate publication ever released about this “genius fitter and cutter”, who was the first employee of Christian Dior. From his hands radiates “an exceptional technical know-how and an unequalled expertise in construction”. Throughout the 250 pages, including a splendid cover signed by Norman Parkinson, we discover many pieces of documentation, where the hands emerge in majesty. The black-gloved hands of Pierre Cardin’s first collection (Spring-Summer 1953); the hands of the man who knew how to cut as well as to draw; the hands whose signature was expected by the employees at the end of each month as he was the only one writing the cheques. In Hesse, we discover a gentleman portrayed with the heartfelt elegance of a collaborator eager to celebrate the master as much as the lover of Jeanne Moreau, the loner in love with perfection. “In my office on Avenue de Marigny, on the wall, a portrait of Pierre Cardin, photographed by Roland de Vassal (…) stares at me. You can feel in his eyes the strength of talent, of audacity. He is right there. He is a leader, but also a creator, a visionary.” Far from all the clichés about the man on the moon, the cosmic citizen with ball gowns and target belts, Pierre Cardin rises, hand sewn.