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Dreaming of Palais Lumière - the City of Light

Pierre Cardin Fashion Show 2012


Some people say that a Pierre Cardin fashion show is like a journey around the world that transports people to different corners of the world to wander the landscape and trace its sentiment; others say that a Pierre Cardin fashion show is like a gluttonous feast that brings people into an ocean of multi-coloured art to taste legends and chew over creative concepts. Mr Pierre Cardin personally tailored all of the clothes for Palais Lumière - the City of Light, the fashion show held at the Water Cube on April 1, 2012, including 120 women’s pieces and 60 men’s pieces. He travelled in person to the Water Cube with over 90 models to take his followers on a journey to dream of Palais Lumière - the City of Light. The combination of 3D film technology, conceptual and architectural stage sets and original music made this much more than just a fashion show; its extraordinary composition weaved a dream-like journey that invited the audience to appreciate fascinating wonders along its unpredictable course.


The beginning of the journey of light


The stage of the event applied many elements from Palais Lumière, a conceptual building that will be built by Mr Pierre Cardin in Venice. Its presence was clear beside the stage backdrop, where two architectural walls set at the two sides of the stage reflected and illuminated this theme. Mr Pierre Cardin’s Palais Lumière will make full use of solar power and emphasize the concept of environmental protection - and the audience were taken on a journey there in this fashion show by a film produced with 3D technology.


The dream began as a beam of light broke through the surface of the ocean, releasing an imprisoned mermaid princess. The light was embodied as a spirit, who helped the princess to shuttle back and forth between many pieces of Pierre Cardin clothing wrapped in bubbles. The spirit and the princess swam around a “City of Light” enclosed in bubbles on the water’s surface, where conceptual furniture, postmodern lighting and exquisite perfume made a fantastical scene that was at once both dreamlike and real. The audience was captivated and wholly integrated with Palais Lumière - the City of Light.


The awakening of light


In an instant, the stage was filled with electric light and the audience, still spell-bound by the 3D film, was suddenly drawn to the scene on stage. The first collection of the show led the audience from darkness into light. The use of Lycra, the design of the men’s all-in-one suits and the women’s dresses, the overall use of black, and the strong contrast produced by the electric lighting on the clothes seemed to announce that the dream had started and the audience were awakened as the light stirred their hearts.


It is worth noting that the music that accompanied the first collection was not the rhythm-heavy type traditionally used in fashion shows. It was a clean and soothing piece of music that made the audience feel as if they were being showered by a light rain or lying on grass looking up at the stars.


Classic light


Pierre Cardin’s classic geometric shapes were carried forward well in the day wear collection. However, classic does not mean fastidious; such apparently simple and yet profound designs have made many designers in the world followers of Pierre Cardin – there must be something to it.


The collection may be classic, but it also allows us to appreciate that Pierre Cardin remains at the forefront of design. Far from the conservative or old-fashioned styles that may generally come to mind in relation to classic design, Pierre Cardin’s day wear collection was shown to an accompaniment of fast-paced music and exhibited a kind of life concept that the audience was able to personally experience. Pierre Cardin presented a lively depiction of everyone’s paths of life.


The colour of light


The evening dress collection made everyone look back to the past. It felt as if the dream had returned to childhood - a childhood made of watercolours, crayons and kaleidoscopes. The collection, in its highly saturated candy-colours, was dazzling and full of impact. Just like the rainbows that we have all seen with such great excitement in our childhoods, in this collection the light was refracted into many colours that were projected onto the bodies of the models on stage.


In addition to the dazzling colours, the music that accompanied the collection made many people in the audience swing from side to side to the beat. The light-hearted, lively and cheerful style of the music made the colourful and bright clothing appear even more beautiful. The faces of the audience all appeared much younger, as they were infected wholeheartedly by such colour and cheerful music.


A bombardment of light


Before the start of the evening gown collection, the audience was already aware of several mushroom-shaped stages on both sides of the catwalk. At that moment, when we were all wondering curiously about their purpose, Pierre Cardin once again amazed us with a demonstration of true creativity.


The mushroom-shaped stages to one side of the catwalk began to revolve slowly and the models that were stood on those stages, dressed in clothes made from architectural materials, slowly turned into sight, revealing their beauty to the world. This was the first time that Pierre Cardin had used architectural materials in the construction of clothing. Sponges, originally used to insulate water pipes, incorporated the bodies of the models and their clothes to create an integrated whole, like a sculpture. Although quiet the mood was enticing. Many more models stood on the balconies of the walls set at the two sides of the stage backdrop and the unique scene on stage once again gave the audience a sense of Pierre Cardin’s imaginative power.


The overall design of the collection made ample references to architectural design; the audience gasped in admiration at the huge bustles and multi-layered designs that appeared – it was the perfect combination of the toughness of architecture and the softness of fabric. The music, which was strongly rhythmic and combined styles from both the East and the West, along with such world-class designs, contrasted and illuminated the world class architecture of the Palace of Light. This was undoubtedly a world-class performance. 


A dance of light


Pierre Cardin presented the audience with a dreamlike blockbuster, an audio-visual feast. And the finale of the event gave the audience yet another surprise. Full-body designs in gold and silver incorporated huge circular hat structures that rose from the shoulders of the models and lit up the whole arena like sunlight and moonlight in radiant contrast.


The most awe-inspiring moment came with the arrival of the “messenger” from the dream. The messenger drifted above the heads of the audience dressed in a graceful, multi-coloured gauze dress; the bold and innovative use of wires in the performance to simulate flight gave the audience an even greater sense of being in a dream world. All of the models slowly bowed to the sound of classical music and were met by thunderous applause. The applause was dedicated to the designer of this exciting dream world – Mr. Pierre Cardin, to the brand’s classic and yet continually innovative design style, to the sometimes gentle, sometimes mysterious and sometimes pure audio and visual interpretation of the performance and more importantly to the hidden dreams of the audience that were awakened by the show!