“Clothing happens to be the structure of the body,” Guo Pei’s words are written on the wall of San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, where 80 of her dresses are on display through November. “Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” exhibition unfolds like poetry. With just a quick walkthrough, viewers are mesmerized by her level of artistry. Simply describing Pei as a fashion designer does not capture the grandeur and technical prowess of her work. Borrowing freely from a variety of sources, including China’s imperial past, the natural world, and European architecture, her Pei creates exquisitely crafted garments that intersect with fashion, performance, art, and sculpture. doing. Some of her creations, like the Dajin dress on display at the exhibition, take tens of thousands of hours to create.
“Clothing happens to be the architecture of the body.”
“I feel very lucky to be destined to make clothes,” she tells POPSUGAR.The second Chinese invited as a guest member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the French authority on couture. Pei’s journey to becoming a human designer has been remarkable. Born in Beijing, she developed her early passion for embroidered clothes through her maternal grandmother, who told her stories of her upbringing during China’s last imperial era. She talked about embroidered Chinese court costumes. This contrasted with what Pei saw at the time, as embroidered clothing was banned during the Cultural Revolution. increase. Her fascination with beautiful clothes deepened when she started sewing with her mother, who was unable to continue making clothes for her family due to glaucoma.
Pei then participated in China’s first fashion program and worked for a well-known brand company for 10 years. Still, she wanted to make embroidered clothes, so eventually she set out to revive the art herself. He visited and sought out craftsmen, eventually starting his own practice, Rose Studio, in 1997.
Many know her as the creator of Rihanna’s gold embroidered gown at the 2015 Met Gala, but Pei was an acclaimed designer long before that moment. He has turned his love of fantasy, architecture and spirituality into an illustrious career characterized by technological innovation and a global perspective.
“I believe that inspiration is the accumulation of the love of life.”
Pei’s well of inspiration is far from exhausted. The legendary designer spoke to POPSUGAR about his childhood, the evolution of fashion in China, and his hopes for the industry’s future. Read ahead for the full interview, lightly edited for clarity.