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“Pierre Cardin. A man, a name, a myth”: the laudatory documentary of P. David Ebersole & Todds Hugues devoted to the couturier

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The last couturier of the great post-war houses, Pierre Cardin is the subject of a documentary released on September 23 to mark the 70th anniversary of his fashion house.

The visionary couturier and intractable businessman, born in Venice in 1922, founded his house in 1950. If he had until now never wanted a biography and refused all documentary offers, the directors P. David Ebersole & Todds Hugues managed to convince him even if they did. admit: “It’s not easy to fit 97 years of a life into a 97 minute film.” The documentary “Pierre Cardin. A man, a name, a myth”, which hits theaters on September 23, keeps asking the question: who is Pierre Cardin ?

“We are Cardinophiles” proclaim P. David Ebersole & Todds Hugues. “Pierre Cardin, the man we knew only as the creator of the eau de Cologne we wore when we were teenagers, is also the creator of wonderful modern furniture. (…) We are became passionate, and discovered a new universe, a lifestyle, and not just decorative elements. ” For a year, from October 2017 to October 2018, the two directors followed in the footsteps of the couturier, following him around the world to paint a portrait of their idol.

The fabulous fate of this tireless worker, born into a modest Italian family in a village in Venitia, is told with a profusion of images, in black and white and in color, and interviews both with the earthy couturier and with a pleiad. personalities from the world of fashion and those close to him. His childhood is evoked as well as his first years in Paris, where he landed in 1945 to make his debut, first at Paquin then at Schiaparelli. Jean Cocteau and Christian Bérard spot him: he will create masks and clothes for them, especially for the film The beauty and the Beast. In 1946, Christian Dior offered him a job as a tailor in his house he had just created. Four years later, in 1950 therefore, Pierre Cardin opened his. The couturier launched his first women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1959. His men’s collection was released the following year.

The various interviews explaining how the creation of ready-to-wear constituted a revolution in the fashion world are numerous. And if the directors insist on this period, it is because their purpose throughout the documentary is to show the modernity and the daring shown by the couturier. But to give even more weight to the comments collected, an in-depth study of the social context of the time would have been welcome.

The couturier Pierre Cardin in his Parisian museum
The couturier Pierre Cardin in his Parisian museum (Pierre Cardin)

The documentary also looks at the formidable businessman recalling, through extracts of reports from the time, that he opened the Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris and that he programmed concerts, musicals, ballets… Cardin, they are also licenses: he imagines articles produced by industrialists who then pay him a percentage of the sales. Cardin is also the initiator of crazy projects: in 1971, he became the first civilian in the world to don the space suit of Buzz Aldrin and he is very proud of it!

But his most spectacular acquisition remains the unusual Palais Bulles de hungarian architect Antti Lovag where he organizes parades and private parties. Passionate about art, Pierre Cardin also transforms the floors of Maxim’s and recreates the atmosphere of an apartment from the Belle Époque, the Art Nouveau museum. A touching moment when the man evokes an anecdote on one of the paintings he acquired for the place.

The couturier Pierre Cardin in his Parisian museum
The couturier Pierre Cardin in his Parisian museum (Pierre Cardin)

The directors managed to bring together a rich cast: Naomi Campbell, one of the few actresses to wear vintage Cardin outfits on the red carpet, but also Sharon Stone, very good friend of Jeanne Moreau. “We found out that Pierre Cardin had discovered her in the middle of the crowd when she was still a young model telling her that she had something special. She eagerly agreed to wear the vintage outfit that was flown in. of his museum in Paris during the interview “, specify the directors. Without forgetting Jean Paul Gaultier, who started working at Cardin when he was only 18 and had not gone to fashion school. Here he evokes his memories with nostalgia. In 2018, Jean Paul Gaultier him paid tribute with an inspired haute couture fashion show sixties.

Model Naomi Campbell in a Pierre Cardin dress during an interview for the documentary & nbsp; "Pierre Cardin.  A man, a name, a myth " : & nbsp;
Model Naomi Campbell in a Pierre Cardin dress during an interview for the documentary “Pierre Cardin. A man, a name, a myth”: (Documentary “Pierre Cardin. A man, a name, a myth” 🙂

When our research revealed that musicians Jean-Michel Jarre, Alice Cooper and Dionne Warwick have all played at Space Cardin on his 52nd birthday. They all delivered unique anecdotes. Sometimes these testimonies allow us to discover earthy memories, this is the case with Alice Cooper when he talks about his coming to Espace Pierre Cardin.

The numerous testimonials are always very positive and no one dares to scratch the couturier. Pierre Cardin discovering the finished film has he not declared to the directorsEverything is true! “.

Fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier interviewed in the documentary & nbsp; "Pierre Cardin.  A man, a name, a myth "
The couturier Jean-Paul Gaultier interviewed in the documentary “Pierre Cardin. Un homme, un nom, un myth” (Documentary “Pierre Cardin. Un homme, un nom, un myth”)

Another documentary, “Cyril against Goliath. The rich live beyond our means” directed by Thomat Bonnot and released on September 9 is interested in the businessman. The latter addresses the controversy born of the takeover by the couturier in 2001 of the castle of the Marquis de Sade in ruins in the village of Lacoste, which was then followed by the takeover of around forty houses and businesses, today abandoned.

Kind : documentary
Director : P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes (USA)
With : Pierre Cardin, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Philippe Starck, Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell
Duration : 1h 35 minutes
Exit : September 23, 2020


Synopsis : Millions of people know the logo and iconic signature of Pierre Cardin. But few people know the man behind the creator. What is the story of this legendary couturier? Pierre Cardin revolutionized fashion, both haute couture, ready-to-wear and design all over the world. With the archives of Maison Cardin and the testimonies of icons – Jean Paul Gaultier, Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell, Philippe Stark – an immersion in the spirit of a genius and in the history of the “Last Emperor”.


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