FPJ Exclusive: Tarun Tahiliani opens up about how iconic French designer Pierre Cardin inspired him to get into fashion
FPJ Exclusive: Tarun Tahiliani opens up about how iconic French designer Pierre Cardin inspired him to get into fashion

As we were all set to bid adieu to 2020, a year full of tragedies and losses, the news of famed French designer Pierre Cardin's death came out as another major blow. The iconic fashion designer, known for bringing the futuristic aesthetic into fashion, passed away at the age of 98.

Born in northern Italy to a modest family, Cardin started his journey at the tender age of 14 by becoming an apprentice to a tailor. In 1945, he moved to Paris and worked as assistant in the House of Paquin and later created costumes for the 1946 hit, 'Beauty and the Beast'. Before showcasing his vision to the world with his first collection in 1953, he also worked with Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior. The French designer, known for the Space Age style fashion, created the iconic bubble dress in 1954 and made his mark during the Golden Age of Couture. And the rest is history.

On Tuesday, as prominent personalities from the fashion and film world condoled the death of the renowned fashion designer and hailed him as an iconic figure, we reached out to noted Indian fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani to know how the internationally-famed fashion designer inspired him.

In an exclusive conversation with the Free Press Journal, Tahiliani said, "I owe my getting into fashion to Pierre Cardin".

"I was a young man living in Bombay and I was selling oilfield equipment at the time. We were quite broke and Pierre Cardin came to Bombay to do a big show at the Taj. My wife Sal went to see if she could be an usherette or help and she was asked to come to the costing. She was then picked to model along with the four-five French models. And that's how I ended up seeing my first ever fashion show, " he revealed.

"I had always drawn and sketched. I came out and I sketched for a day and a night... I then knew that this is what I wanted to do," Tarun Tahiliani added.

Further opening up about how the show changed his path, the designer said, "So, Pierre Cardin, as I told him many years later when I met him in Mumbai, probably 15-20 years back, I said 'it's all because of you'. Because if I had not seen the show, who knows if my path could've gone on because at that time there was no real fashion in India. It was just a textile industry."

"He was absolutely the vanguard," the founder of Tahiliani Design studio said.

Pulling out a rare gem from his archive, which features the legendary French designer and actress Simi Garewal, Tahiliani said, "This photograph represents a golden era, the elegant Pierre Cardin is with my dear friend, Simi Garewal - who now wears white. But, looks exquisite like a mermaid that has stepped out of the Adriatic Sea."

"Pierre Cardin is because of whom I got into fashion and Simi Garewal was such a great friend and chaperoned to London to do my first show in 1995... It is iconic that these two people are in one photograph," Tarun Tahiliani added.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

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