A long brand as­so­ci­a­tion

Pierre Cardin’s show on the Great Wall a ‘gift’ on an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing-up

China Daily European Weekly - - Front Page - By XU HAOYU xuhaoyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

On a Septem­ber af­ter­noon, af­ter climb­ing a hilly road, mem­bers of the me­dia car­ry­ing cam­eras and tripods, and in­vited guests, some in heels and oth­ers in tight suits, reached their des­ti­na­tion — a fash­ion show by Pierre Cardin on the Great Wall to mark the cloth­ing brand’s 40th an­niver­sary in China.

Pierre Cardin, the epony­mous founder of the brand, vis­ited the wall some 40 years ago as well.

The show in Septem­ber was in­tended to tell the au­di­ence about the brand’s be­gin­nings and talk about its mar­ket in China.

Fang Fang, chief rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Pierre Cardin China and gen­eral di­rec­tor of the event, says she faced a few prob­lems when se­lect­ing the show venue.

Fang says she first found a quiet cor­ner on a sec­tion of the wall where tourist num­bers were ex­pected to be low, but she was alerted just a week be­fore the show that the lo­ca­tion could not be used. Since her com­pany had al­ready handed out all of the in­vi­ta­tions, there was no turn­ing back.

She then found a “wilder” sec­tion of the Great Wall, where peo­ple even­tu­ally en­joyed the show. Around 40 se­cu­rity per­son­nel were brought in to en­sure the event ran smoothly. The theme “Cardin red” re­flected the long as­so­ci­a­tion of the brand with China. It is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive color of the brand, Fang says.

China is also as­so­ci­ated with the color, she noted, from cul­tural sym­bols and the na­tional flag to the scarves of young pi­o­neers.

“Mr Cardin also con­sid­ers red as the color of China, and this show is the brand’s gift on the 40th an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing-up,” Fang says.

To bet­ter cel­e­brate the brand’s an­niver­sary, the show se­lected 40 sets of classic clothes from its head­quar­ters in Paris and an­other 40 sets from its coming spring/ sum­mer col­lec­tion de­vel­oped and pro­duced by Chi­nese rep­re­sen­ta­tives. The unusual venue for the event added to the fu­sion: China and the West, the tra­di­tional and the trendy.

The sports­wear series that opened the show fol­lowed the de­sign con­cept of “loose on the up­per body, tight on the bot­tom”.

The women’s wear on dis­play in­cluded leather cat­suits, short skirts and A-line skirts, which cre­ated a sense of moder­nity and pre­sented geo­met­ric el­e­ments as the classic char­ac­ter­is­tics of the brand.

Trendy col­ors, in­clud­ing lake blue and deep green, as well as the classic tar­tan de­sign, ap­peared on the set of day dresses for women.

For men, over­sized sleeve­less and col­lar­less tops were matched with skinny pants dec­o­rated with big rib­bons, and pat­terns of tri­an­gles, squares and rhom­buses lined up on the legs of trousers.

The menswear grabbed the au­di­ence’s at­ten­tion fur­ther with the diver­sity of ma­te­ri­als used, in­clud­ing leather, a spe­cial cot­ton and a “three-di­men­sional fab­ric”.

The third series — a col­lec­tion of cock­tail dresses — had many in­ter­na­tional el­e­ments. The con­trast of rose red and dark green gen­er­ated a feel­ing of rhythm; the ap­pli­ca­tion of silk made the clothes look el­e­gant; and the three-di­men­sional cut led to the asym­met­ri­cal drap­ing and gath­er­ing of the dresses on dis­play.

Male mod­els showed up in cloaks and tuxe­dos to match the women, just like they were at­tend­ing a ball to­gether.

The col­ors of the for­mal dress series were the most prominent, and the choice of shape was also dif­fer­ent from other series of the brand.

The women’s tight fish­tail dress made the model look like a beau­ti­ful mer­maid. The sim­ple com­bi­na­tion of black and white showed the steady in­de­pen­dence of the mod­ern woman. The tex­ture of gauze added light­ness to some dresses, and the tie-dye work re­vealed tra­di­tional cul­tures in China and other parts of Asia.

The men’s style changed from thin pants to wider legs and dis­tinct con­tours.

Three wed­ding dresses were pre­sented at the end of the show, two of which were an avant-garde style, while the other had an added el­e­ment of a Chi­nese cloak.

A bal­let dancer ac­com­pa­nied by French com­poser Jules Massenet’s Med­i­ta­tion

From Thais emerged from the bea­con tower on that sec­tion of the wall, as a “Cardin red” silk cloth was slowly pulled away, bring­ing the show to its cli­max. All of the mod­els wore flat shoes dur­ing the show, re­flect­ing the brand’s ap­proach to mod­ern liv­ing, ac­cord­ing to Fang.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Maryse Gas­pard (front) at­tended Pierre Cardin’s fash­ion show re­cently to mark the brand’s 40th an­niver­sary in China.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Gas­pard (danc­ing) vis­its the Great Wall in 1979.

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