Leo Greenfield and Pierre Cardin

Leo Greenfield
Pierre Cardin, Paris
Oufit 1969
Leo Greenfield
The Street files shown from left to right: Nicholson Street, East Brunswick (Girl on bike); Smith Street, Fitzroy (Young dad); South Bank, Melbourne (Lady in white shirt with bag)

 Welcome to the future

Google ‘Pierre Cardin 1969’ and take a trip into the future because the first thing you will find listed is a You Tube clip of Cardin’s 1969 collection featuring a version of this outfit. The first bar of music announces an entire decade. The high pitched chimes of Mike Melvoin’s track ‘The Plastic Cow’ (a cover version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’) evoke a generation gripped by dreamings of the future. Set on a rooftop, models pose then walk, clad in metal belts, shields and collars, before magically disappearing by a star-trek transporter. The last model wears a black oversized collar, like this white one, which frames her face like a giant disk as she looks towards the heavens.

In the 1960s interest in the space race manifested itself across art, architecture, design and fashion, with Pierre Cardin’s futuristic contributions some of the most memorable in fashion history.

Through his training and early career Cardin mastered sculptural tailoring, which he then translated in the 1960s into three dimensional forms alleviated from the body capturing the spirit of the space age. The 1960s focus on youth and freedom also prompted straighter cutting and shorter skirts. These corresponding ideas converge in this outfit where the sculpted collar is formed from an entire circle which envelops the whole body.

Welcome to the future.

Paola Di Trocchio

Image: In the guise of fashion illustration Leo interrogates street culture and imagery and posts these drawings regularly on his blog www.leogreenfield.com.

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