Guo Pei, a Brilliant Chinese Haute couture
Guo Pei couture 2019 – SS19 Paris Fashion Week
Over the seasons Guo Pei has created some extraordinary pieces, and right from her first static exhibition the close-up details are extraordinary. However, at times she has seemed to stray as far away as possible from her cultural heritage and to embrace a retro couture image.
All that changed this season with a stunning collection of Chinese inspired, influenced and imagined pieces.
From the first lacquer red and gold look through to the final ceremonial pieces the collection was focussed strong and consistent. Tassels and fringes swayed, dragons snarled and entwined themselves around the pieces, the pagodas, pinnacles, tiles and roofs of temples and the Mandarin princesses of the past brought legend and couture together in a fantasy of beauty.
The red dress whose back folded open in stiff wings was superb as it exited, emphasising the shimmering gold embroidery confined to borders and finishes.
The warrior like jacket simulating chain mail with its wonderful parchment like fold of embroidery and the softest liquid gold harem pants. The densely embroidered bodice like an oriental vase, teamed with silver tissue harem pants was half covered by an exquisite coats of filigree lace draped around the model as if in some secret ceremony, and celadon satin origami dress with its long plain wrap skirt were enchanting.
The vivid blue wrap kimono style dress held off the shoulders before wrapping in a narrow silhouette around the body, was especially amazing for the gold interior bodice which was held within the blue outer layer like a precious gift.
This was the designer successfully mixing heritage and couture in a perfect balance.
One or two pieces in the show still seemed over contrived and at the late hour the show could have been either a little quicker or edited slightly. However, overall this was a giant stride forward for this clever designer, whose workrooms can produce embroidery and decoration of stunning complexity and quality.
There is definitely a following for Guo Pei and as each season passes, she is becoming more confident that she can look at her own and associated cultures.
In this day and age, it is important that personal voices from around the world celebrate their crafts and aesthetics in their work; be it New York or Rome, Shanghai or Sydney.
Guo Pei Photos from Front Row