Newport Mansions to Host Pierre Cardin Retrospective Exhibition

Pierre Cardin Visits the Newport Mansions This Summer to Host Runway Show Introducing a Retrospective Exhibition of His Work by The Preservation Society of Newport County

Legendary fashion designer Pierre Cardin will personally host a fashion runway show at The Breakers this June, providing a spectacular introduction to a new fashion exhibition highlighting his most iconic work that will be on display at Rosecliff, another iconic Newport Mansion, through the end of 2017.

Pierre Cardin, 1983, the year he is made Knight of the Legion of Honour and and is decorated as “Chevalier des Arts and des Lettres” (courtesy Archives Pierre Cardin)

Pierre Cardin, 1983, the year he is made Knight of the Legion of Honour and and is decorated as “Chevalier des Arts and des Lettres” (courtesy Archives Pierre Cardin)

Trudy Coxe, CEO & Executive Director of The Preservation Society of Newport County, said, “We are honored by Mr. Cardin’s support of the Preservation Society in this amazing way, and especially that he will personally travel to Newport from Paris to be with us in June. As perhaps the world’s most iconic fashion designer, it is only appropriate that his fashions will be featured in two of the world’s most iconic historic properties, The Breakers and Rosecliff.”PierreCardinBanner (1)

Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation, will open in the exhibition gallery at Rosecliff on May 27, featuring 42 original pieces from Mr. Cardin’s private archives that document and celebrate his prolific career from the 1950s through his 2016 spring/summer collection.

Located at 548 Bellevue Avenue, this beautiful house was completed in 1902 for Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs. Architect Stanford White modeled the house after the Grand Trianon at Versailles. Rosecliff was the setting for many spectacular Newport parties. More recently it has been used as a setting for several Hollywood movies, including The Great Gatsby, True Lies, Amistad, and 27 Dresses.

Pierre Cardin, 1990 (courtesy Archives Pierre Cardin)

Pierre Cardin, 1990 (courtesy Archives Pierre Cardin)

Pierre Cardin (b. 1922) is a product of immediate post-WW II possibilities and his designs continue to reflect his engagement with a changing world. Beginning with his haute couture work with Christian Dior in 1946, he helped develop the ‘New Look’ that would forever change mid-twentieth-century fashions. Just four years later Cardin founded his own company, and in 1959, broke with tradition by presenting a ready-to-wear women’s collection. This was a tremendous feat given that custom-fitted clothing for wealthy patrons ruled the great Parisian fashion houses at this time. Cardin was a pioneer in making high fashion accessible to a larger audience.

Greatly influenced by the space race of the 1960s, Cardin produced some of his most memorable designs during this period, became the only person to appear in Neil Armstrong’s original space suit from the 1969 moonwalk and went on to design space suits for NASA.

A creative visionary with tremendous ingenuity, his designs have been worn by some of the most glamorous and influential women in the world including Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, Charlotte Rampling and Jeanne Moreau.

The Breakers Great Hall

The Breakers Great Hall

On June 17, Mr. Cardin himself will host a fashion runway show in the Great Hall of The Breakers, Newport’s largest and most iconic Gilded Age mansion that will feature nearly 90 looks demonstrating a range of his work and highlighting some of his most admired projects. Following the runway show, guests will enjoy a champagne reception on the loggia of The Breakers, including a birthday cake to celebrate Mr. Cardin’s imminent 95th birthday on July 2.

Rosecliff

Rosecliff

The Rosecliff exhibition will be housed in the second-floor exhibition gallery, and feature a retrospective of Mr. Cardin’s prolific career. Included will be some of his most memorable designs, including 1960s space-age looks from the Cosmocorps collection, unisex jumpsuits created for the 1972 Olympics, and the technologically advanced Cardine dress, made of thermo-formed fabric that was worn by Lauren Bacall in 1968.

In addition to fashion, Mr. Cardin’s interests have extended to art, architecture and furniture design. Some pieces from his extensive collection of art by French Belle Époque caricaturist Georges Goursat, also known as SEM, will also be included in the exhibition. Complementing the artwork will be a vignette from Maxim’s, the storied Parisian restaurant that Mr. Cardin has owned since 1981.

The exhibition will be on view through January 1, 2018, and is included in regular Rosecliff tour admission. For more information about the runway show and the exhibition and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.newportmansions.org/events/pierre-cardin.

All proceeds from the fashion show and the exhibition will benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to protecting, preserving and presenting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

The Breakers, 44 Ochre Point Avenue, is the grandest of the Newport summer cottages and a National Historic Landmark building. Cornelius Vanderbilt II, President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad, commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design this summer retreat for his large family after the first house on the site burned down. This 70-room Italian Renaissance-style villa, completed in 1895, includes a 45-foot high central Great Hall. It sits on a 13 acre estate overlooking a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean, where the waves crashing on the rocks below gave the house its name.

A very limited number of VIP reservations are available. To inquire about these, please call the Special Events Office at 401-847-1000 ext. 140.

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