Guo Pei in Melbourne
- BY: TEREZA BERKEMEIER
- Feb. 4, 2018
Guo Pei is a Chinese fashion designer, the second Asian designer to be invited by the Chambre Syndicate de la Haute Couture as a guest member. Ellie Saab was the first. She is also one of the few Chinese designers that have shown on the Paris catwalk, this particular collection is called ‘Legend’ and Australians have an opportunity to see some of these exquisite pieces at Melbourne's NGV International.
Pei’s haute couture style has
been described as grand garments of texture that cut grand silhouettes, with a
striking mix of fantasy and avant garde.
She has been credited for bringing ancient Chinese dressmaking and
embroidery techniques into a modern century. Pei has employed over 400 artists who she has
trained personally, they all work passionately hard to bring her visions to
life. Pei is well known for the dresses
she creates for Chinese celebrities and for one particular American celebrity
for whom she designed the divine canary yellow creation that was seen on
Rhianna in 2015 for the MET awards.
Pei studied at the Bejing Second Light Industry School and as she stated she lived in a region where there was no custom-made clothing and most certainly haute couture was unheard of. She wanted to bring something new to China and became a couture designer forming her own fashion brand ‘Mei Gui Fang’. Her debut collection was ‘One Thousand and Two nights’ for China’s Fashion week. Her next show the ‘Legend of Dragon’ took 3 years of preparation and showed in Bejing in 2012.
To match the long hours of labour, time and elaboration that goes into each piece her prices are of course high for her couture designs. She makes herself available for commercial work to keep her company alive for example she was commissioned to create the Olympic uniforms for her country.
Her 2017 Spring-Summer collection ‘Legend’ that was shown in Paris is part of the NGV Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. This collection was inspired by her encounter with the Cathedral of Saint Gall in Switzerland. Following this visit she spent the eighteen months designing a bespoke fabric with haute couture fabric manufacturer Jakob Schlaepfer.
Pei spoke at the NGV International last month and will be spending much time in Melbourne throughout the duration of the
Triennial exhibition, NGV International until 15th April, 2018. Her installation as a part of this exhibition will be free to attend on March 3, 2018 at 1pm as part of the Virgin Australian Melbourne Fashion Festival.