Pierre Cardin exhibition

The object I chose is Cardin’s universal “Cosmocorps” fashion. Ths style was resembled in the popular television series” Star Trek” in the 60s, in which the background of the story is a space travel age due to the similarity they shared. Therefore, we can assume that the kind of future this object envision is a space travel era that there will be no distinction between gender, race, class, etc. Everybody will be equal and living together in harmony.

Since in the exhibition, they only display a photo of the Star Trek, and an interview with the actresses, I looked online and found a picture of Pierre Cardin Cosmocorps collection Ready-to-wear 1967 to demonstrate what features of this collection indicate its orientation towards the future.

As we compare and contrast these two images, we can see the similarities they share. Both of them are having an H-shape silhouette from the trench coat to the dress with geometric patterns and symmetry patterns that don’t distinguish gender on it. Collars are either round-shape or a stand collar. The whole look usually complete with a pair of knee’s height black patent leather boots and an oval-shape hat to indicate the sense of adventure. The only difference might be in turn of material, in the Star Trek, we can see the frequent use of PVC-like material to boost up the futuristic vibe, whereas didn’t appear as much on the 1967 Ready-to-wear collection. Both of them are sharing an adventure vibe because of the style of the clothing as well as the poses of the models and actresses.

As Megan O’Grady states in the “Fashions for the Future.” that “Wishful thinking is a powerful human instinct.” Under the historical context of that period, it’s no wonder that people had a fantasy to fast technology improvement and make space travel come true. Traveling in space no only stands for a bigger world to explore, but also stands for people’s wishes. People wish to escape from reality on the earth and to establish a new, better world where there will be no inequality, no conflict, no poverty, no famine, a world that builds by only bright hopes. Quoting from Chapter 8 that as the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said over 150 years ago, “cultural anxiety is future-oriented, like a feeling in the bones that a storm is approaching.” Connecting this sentence with what happened in the US during the 60s, it’s no hard to explain why the idea of space travel(escaping from the earth) and the longing of peace and love is so universal and popular. And these strong wishes reflect on this collection.

But as Megan O’ Grady states again that “the retro-future is powerful precisely because it reveals to us the faultiness of those dreams, the seductive gap between our fantasies of what we thought the future should look like and what it turned out to be.” Looking at the 21st century, we are still far from the realization of space travel, but we can see how fashion reflects the current status quo of human society. People are no longer intrigued by the idea of space travel because the majority of us are satisfied with life now. For most of us, we have access to food, water, education, and even more. Therefore, the idea of escaping no longer exists.

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