Runway Recall: Pierre Cardin Takes a Runway Show to the Chinese Desert

We wonder how hard it was to get all that sand out of the clothes.

Images courtesy of Pierre Cardin.

In this edition of Runway Recall, we're revisiting the time Pierre Cardin staged a massive show on the undulating sand dunes of a remote Chinese city.

Whistling Sand Mountain—the massive collection of dunes that sits on the outskirts of Dunhuang, China—sounds like the last place you'd find a runway populated by models wearing clothes by one of the world's iconic designers. But in late October 2007, Pierre Cardin headed to the town, an old Silk Road trading outpost, to stage a massive men's and women's fashion show that featured over 200 looks.

Apropos of the desert location, some of the models were brought to the runway on the backs of camels. While the women's clothes were lavish, the men's designs focused mostly on sharp suiting and sportswear, with a few surprising elements (a black T-shirt with metallic lightning bolts down the sleeves, for instance) mixed in.

Cardin's choice to show in China will come as no surprise to people who know a little bit about his history with the country. He opened a French restaurant there in 1983, and in 1985 he showed collections in both Beijing and Shanghai, and when he came back for this show over 30 years later he was received with open arms—and a standing ovation at the end of the show.


Images courtesy of Pierre Cardin.


Images courtesy of Pierre Cardin.


Images courtesy of Pierre Cardin.


Images courtesy of Pierre Cardin.

—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.

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