French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, whose avant-garde style revolutionised the 1960s and 1970s, has died aged 98.
The Italian-born designer, best known for his Space Age designs and love of geometric shapes, died in hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, west of Paris, according to French media.
“It is with great sadness that the members of the Academy of Fine Arts announce the death of their fellow member Pierre Cardin,” the French Academy of Fine Arts tweeted.
The academy did not give a cause of death or say where or when he died.
They were all about making a big entrance — sometimes very literally.
Gowns and bodysuits in fluorescent spandex were fitted with plastic hoops that stood away from the body at the waist, elbows, wrists and knees.
Bubble dresses and capes enveloped their wearers in oversized spheres of fabric.
“Fashion is always ridiculous, seen from before or after. But in the moment, it’s marvellous,” Cardin said in a 1970 interview.
He was born as Pietro Constante Cardin on July 7, 1922, to a wealthy family in a small town near Venice, Italy, but they soon relocated to France to escape Mussolini’s fascist regime.
When he was a child, the family moved to Saint Etienne in central France where Cardin was schooled and became an apprentice to a tailor at 14.
Cardin would later embrace his status as a self-made man, saying in the same 1970 interview on French television that going it alone “makes you see life in a much more real way and forces you to take decision and to be courageous”.
He also was involved in creating the costumes for the director’s 1946 hit, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ starring Elizabeth Taylor.
After working briefly with Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior, Cardin opened his own house in the city’s first district.
He launched his own fashion label in 1950 and soon prompted headlines with his famous bubble dress in 1954.
This was shortly followed by ready-to-wear (pret-a-porter) collections for both men and women.