Pierre Cardin museum

Musée Pierre Cardin © Thierry Joly
In the heart of Paris, a museum traces the career of Fashion designer Pierre Cardin. Three hundred high-fashion outfits are on display and highlight his taste for experimentation and atypical materials.

[ Practical ]

Musée Pierre Cardin
5 rue Saint-Merri
75004 Paris
Opening times and hours
Open Wednesday to Friday from 11am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 6 pm.
Adults : 25 €
Students : 20 €
Ph : 0142760057
Little-known, not listed in most Paris guidebooks, the Pierre Cardin Museum is a must for anyone interested in fashion. Created in 2006 and tracing the fashion designer's 60-year career, it was originally located in the suburban town of Saint-Ouen. But, in November 2014, it moved to the Marais, not far from the Pompidou Centre, and is now easily accessible.

Musée Pierre Cardin © T.Joly
 Clothes from almost all collections
Housed in an old tie factory, it occupies 1,000 m2 spread over three levels and 300 high-fashion outfits are on display. The oldest is a 1951 dress created by the designer just after his departure from Dior where he worked as a tailor. The most recent is a 2007 men vest with a breastplate covered with small silicone cake baking pans. This astonishing creation illustrates Pierre Cardin’s innovative spirit. An avant-garde and self-taught designer, he always had a taste for experimentation and often used atypical materials. Between the two there are clothes from almost all its annual collections. "Not all because until 1975 it was possible to buy outfits used at fashion shows by models and so a few are missing" says Renée Taponier, director and curator of the museum.

Musée Pierre Cardin © T.Joly
 Chronological display
Working for this fashion house since the age of 14 and having held various positions, she found and selected all clothes on display. "And we have hundreds more in the storehouse because until the 70s-80s we had 5-6 models ready to parade on any day if a customer asked for it".
With a few exceptions, the presentation is essentially chronological and allows you to follow the evolution of Pierre Cardin's style as well as his numerous and varied experiments. “It highlights his passions, his impulses and his researcher spirit which led him to use so many different materials”.

Musée Pierre Cardin © T.Joly
 Bubble dresses
Thus, the very classical dresses of his beginnings are followed by psychedelic or space-conquest inspired clothes of the years 1965-1970, suits designed for the athletes of the Munich 1972 Olympic Games, costumes with Mao collar, dresses adorned with colourful geometric patterns, evening dresses, bubble dresses, sleeveless dresses, hoop dresses, brightly coloured clothing, vinyl skirts, strappy skirts, metal collars and breastplates inspired by Citroën cars bumpers and made by an auto-body mechanic.
A priceless collection perfectly set off to its advantage. Here and there are also displayed pieces of furniture created by Pierre Cardin in the 70’s and 80’s. One-off bespoke pieces.

Musée Pierre Cardin © T.Joly
 Shoes, hats, gloves,..
Finally, a room presents a selection of glasses, jewels, hats, gloves, belts and other accessories created by Pierre Cardin as well as shoes, the realization of which was entrusted to Charles Jourdan.
There are only a few explanatory panels but it is possible to consult books on his life and his creations. And if you have time, don’t miss the one and half hour guided tour led by the museum's curator, Renée Taponier. She has an unrivalled wealth of knowledge regarding the fashion designer’s work.

November 15, 2018
Thierry Joly