Chateau de Lacoste-Marquis de Sade Fashion Parade
Launch of Pierre Cardin Autumn/Winter 2009-10 Collection
(10th April 2009, Beijing) Top French fashion label Pierre Cardin recently launched their all-new Autumn/Winter 2009-10 Collections in “The Château de Lacoste-Marquis de Sade” fashion show, which took place in Beijing’s 798 Art District. Drawing on new sources of inspiration, Cardin has combined his classic geometric design with controversial Sadistic elements. For the first time, the public was able to appreciate the liberal, wild and unrestrained Sadeian Thought through fashion. Daring to create a collection based on spiritual liberation is more than just a breakthrough for the Pierre Cardin label itself; it’s a unique undertaking in fashion history and equally a reflection of Cardin’s profound cultural heritage that has been the secret to decades of success in the fashion industry.
Even in 2009, in the subdued midst of the economic crisis, Pierre Cardin China Chief Representative & Creative Director, Fang Fang, has somehow managed to deliver. Employing ‘wanton’ creativity, seemingly from another reality, she has dropped a visual ‘bomb’ on the fashion world with the launch of Pierre Cardin’s latest collection, “The Château de Lacoste-Marquis de Sade”.
The Legend of the Château de Lacoste-Marquis de Sade
It’s not only due to the romantic fields of lavender and beautiful Mediterranean landscape that Provence is world renowned; the lonely gorges and desolate castles also stir up amorous feelings for the place. One castle stands out among the many that fill the valleys of Provence, thanks to its unorthodox previous resident who has enshrouded it with mystery. We are of course referring to the Château de Sade, the final residence of the famous French philosopher, the Marquis de Sade. Today, it has become the summer residence of Pierre Cardin himself, where every year he organises a cultural festival where all can learn about Sadeian Thought and the history of the Château itself. Now people can also appreciate the life and work of the Marquis de Sade through Cardin’s own fashion design.
200 years ago, when the principles Sade advocated, the pornographic hallucinations he described and the social scandals he caused forced him to be ostracized from society, no-one would have believed that two centuries later the fashion world would be celebrating “The Beauty of Pain” on the catwalk. But it’s impossible to deny that Sade was ultimately fighting to break the chains of feudalism and to bring about the liberation of man.
Searching for Liberation on the Road to Freedom
Audacious topics provide endless inspiration for creative minds. Unrestrained creativity equally provides a spirit of boundless freedom for a fashion show. On derelict factory grounds of 798, rusted chimneys and mottled piping set the ‘aesthetic’ backdrop for the launch. At the head of an enormous staircase adorned with red drapes, feather-capped performers played Saint-Saëns’s lively piece for violin, the “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor”. Bizarre yet resplendent, the spectacle thus began. It was a constant bombardment of the senses for all present. The music gradually morphed into hard rock as the models’ silhouettes descended the stairs and, one by one, three collections, amounting to almost 200 outfits, were thus paraded.
First up to set the theme was the “Road to Freedom”, distinctive for wall to wall black and red, from start to finish. Skirts featured recurring needle-shaped rubber ornamentation while blood-red veins were imposed upon refined cuts in the men’s collection. One couldn’t help but think of the pain caused by passionate love.
The casual wear collection up next was based around knitted and denim fabrics. Simple grey tones dominated, not only reflecting the society of the time but also the other local customs of Provence, aside from the lavender. Meanwhile, exaggerated cloaks appeared in the men’s collection, seemingly an abstract link between the 19th century and the present day.
Last to appear was the eveningwear collection. Traditionally the grandest and ‘safest’ of collections, the opposite was true of this risky conclusion to the night’s display. An unusual display of sexuality dealt with the theme of “Freedom and Liberation”, sending hearts racing throughout the audience.
As the economic crisis sweeps around the world at will, that Pierre Cardin has offered as a tribute such a powerful spectacle is quite astounding. Nevertheless, it is thanks to this rich cultural heritage and endless supply of inspiration that Cardin has managed to establish such a long-standing label as Pierre Cardin and share an alternative direction in fashion with so many people around the world.