"I even do hats," he said. "It's my drug [to design dresses]."
With renewed market appreciation for his furniture — vintage Cardin pieces have been showing up more and more in dealers' windows — the designer said he felt reinspired to let his creative juices flow. His new collection is his first from scratch in years. "I've been doing furniture for 50 years and I still have ideas," he said. He pointed to a wall sculpture in colorful organic forms that doubles as a heater. "No one has ever done that," he claimed. "Lately I've been inspired by ecology, butterflies, insects. I've used a lot of color, because life is color.
"My furniture used to be considered provocative," he continued. "But today people like it and say that I'm a very important designer."
This summer, Cardin will continue his ever-busy schedule. Chinese officials have invited him to stage a musical production in Beijing in advance of the Olympic Games this summer. The musical's subject will be Marco Polo and will feature Maire-Claude Pietragalla's troupe of contemporary dancers.
In the meantime, Cardin has been honored with a rose named after him. It will be unveiled next month during the annual Rose Festival at the Royal Abbey of Chaalis, just north of Paris.