'Target' dress, Pierre Cardin

  • Pierre Cardin

  • Gift of Pierre Cardin
  • Spring–Summer 1966
  • 'Matefin' wool muslin by Staron
  • GAL1977.54.4
  • Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

Pierre Cardin (b. 1922) began at Paquin in 1944, then moved to Schiaparelli before taking up the coveted post of head of the suit atelier at Dior. Three years later he resigned to begin making theatre costumes, but continued to capitalise on his talent for suits and coats and ultimately opened his own business, which was given haute couture certification in 1957. Alert to the technical advances of his time, in 1962 he came up with the first of his 'cosmonaut' collections. With André Courrèges and Paco Rabanne he was one of fashion's Big Three in the 1960s.

Inspired by the visual and chromatic aesthetic of Op Art, his 'Target' dress became an icon of its decade: worn by his muse, the model Yoko, it featured in all the leading magazines, including Elle in the spring of 1966. This is the ultimate cutting feat: Cardin succeeded in embedding a black circle in two larger yellow and orange ones, themselves embedded in the body of the ivory dress.