Although Angelo Donghia, was the first designer to put his name on furniture in 1973, Pierre Cardin’s venture in the field was far more successful. Cardin opened a custom furniture shop in Paris in 1975, and in 1977, he licensed his name for furniture, lighting and rugs that translated his fashion aesthetic into designs for the mass market., who didn’t design the pieces himself, felt that furnishings were a logical extension of his brand: and deferred to the pieces as his couture furniture.
Installation View from Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion
The red and black lacquer chest of drawers, titled Head of the Moon, was designed in 1978. While it was not designed alongside the looks on view behind it, Cardin’s tight visual language creates a natural link between the two.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at The Brooklyn Museum.
Pierre Cardin’s Junior Unit Chest, Installation View (All Photos By Gail)
Pierre Cardin’s interest in geometry has extended throughout his career, beginning in his teens, when he was an apprentice tailor. Over the decades, his work has featured triangular lamps and square shoulders but it is the circle that predominates in his design. We featured a look at the circle motifs in his furniture design in This Post, and another terrific example of what the legendary designer refers to as his ‘couture furniture’ is the Junior Unit Chest of Drawers (1979–80).
Comprised of staggered, lacquered wood drawers which appear suspended inside a circular, chrome-plated metal frame, the Junior Unit is both modern and futuristic at the same time!
Photographed as part of the Exhibit Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at The Brooklyn Museum.
What a treat it is to experience the Pierre Cardin exhibit Future Fashion, currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. I admit to being unaware that Cardin also made furniture until I saw a selection of his amazing woodwork staged amongst his retro-space-age fashions. This cabinet, which emulates a sunset above ocean waves, is from 2018.
Cardin’s passion for woodworking began as a child in central France. Later, he created furniture inspired by the skies, landscapes, and forms of nature, using traditional woodworking and lacquer techniques that correspond to the handiwork in haute couture fashion. For this reason, Cardin described his handmade cabinets, tables, dressers, and chairs as “couture furniture” and utilitarian sculptures. Cardin intends his furniture, like sculpture, to be place so that the viewer can see if from all sides and directions.
Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion Will be on View at The Brooklyn Museum Through January 5th, 2020.