Pierre Cardin obituary

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One of the great fashion designers known for his avant-garde style and space-age creations

The fashion designer Pierre Cardin, who has died aged 98, had a technician’s obsession with the malleable properties of wool cloth and the possibilities of cut. He was not inspired by the female body but, as he admitted, inserted women into architectural carapaces. “My clothes aren’t fun,” he said, “they are worrying; it’s like listening to contemporary music.”

Indeed, one of his last major creations was not a fabulous garment, but the 60-storey Palais Lumière, which the authorities of Venice planned to build by the city’s lagoon. In Cardin’s 89th year, they approved his design for a retro-futuristic triple tower of glass, jettying out at the top like his favourite sleeve-head, and so finally honoured his talent for architecture and sculpted shape. It was a controversial concept, and in 2013 Cardin announced that the building had been cancelled.

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