Two students model Cardin’s debut menswear collection at the Crillon Hotel
The ultra conservative ’50s didn’t offer much in the way of innovation or expression for men. Fashion, the spectacular and unexplainable phenomenon that drove the womenswear business into a chaotic whir every 6 months, was completely out of the question. But then in 1960, with his futurist agenda firmly in place, designer Pierre Cardin launched a collection of menswear that would be as true to his modernist pursuits as any of the architectural couture for which he is known. And how did his brand of modernism fare? Strangely, despite the uniform look and monastic quality, Cardin’s lapeless and collarless suits were considered quite ostentatious for their time; to be worn only by the most counter-culturally minded of men. While striking big at home and abroad, the suit would not become the defining beacon of modernism Cardin might have hoped for and would eventually find its place alongside all the other experiments and passing trends of the era.