2017-06-22 / Mainsheet

Fashion Legend Pierre Cardin Toasted at Birthday Gala

Last week, a runway show of 80 looks by legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin were presented at the Preservation Society of Newport County’s gala at the Breakers on Saturday, June 17. This was a celebration to mark his 95th birthday and his 70-year career. He had been scheduled to give a private tour of his retrospective at Rosecliff earlier in the day, but was unable to make it to Newport because he was recovering from a fall. The event was hosted instead by members of his inner circle: Director of Haute Couture Maryse Gaspard, Cardin’s nephew Rodrigo Basilicati, and Matthew Gonder, an American who is the headliner at Cardin’s Maxim’s in Paris.

“Everything inspires him to create,” said Gonder, who would also serve as emcee for the evening’s runway show. Cars, eclair molds, clouds, computers, bananas, and the U.S. space program have all at some point ended up incorporated into a Pierre Cardin, in a palette ranging from earthy to psychedelic. His mission, said Gonder, is to bring comfort to the women wearing his designs, “You don’t have to starve yourself,” he said, “to wear Pierre Cardin.” At the end of the press conference in the Rosecliff dining room, Basilicati called his uncle in Paris. Aware of the fact that everyone was listening in, Cardin could clearly be heard telling his nephew, “my heart is with you all.”

The runway show that evening at the Breakers was followed by a standing ovation. The audience went out onto the loggia, where there was a banner and a birthday cake. PSNC President Monty Burnham led a toast, and everyone raised a glass of champagne (from Maxim’s in Paris) and sang Happy Birthday.

The exhibit is at Rosecliff through the end of the year.

Maryse Gaspard and Rodrigo Basilicati Maryse Gaspard and Rodrigo Basilicati

Monty Burnham, Matthew Gonder, and Trudy Coxe Monty Burnham, Matthew Gonder, and Trudy Coxe

Return to top