Guo Pei: Photo heavy

Wow oh wow. If you live anywhere near Vancouver or are visiting in the next few weeks, or if this show is going to your city, you must try to see it! 

I went with two friends today and we were just beside ourselves at the intricate artistry of this high couturier fashion. Most items (and especially the platform shoes!) appeared utterly unwearable, but all were inarguably magnificent. I've never seen anything like this. 

Guo Pei was born to Communist Party members during the Cultural Revolution. Which reminded me of Newton's law: to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You're going to surround me with drab blue tunic suits and flat cotton shoes for my entire childhood? Well, then, back to the Qing Dynasty  (and 16th century Spain, and the Renaissance church) I will go for my inspiration! 

I was interested to see that she has almost singlehandedly revived the art of hand-embroidery in China. She found a few craftswomen who still practiced it and had them train others and now she employs thousands and continues to advance the craft with instruction and opportunities for practice. The fabrics are almost exclusively silks. Some are heavily beaded with crystals or pearls or copper wire and gold leaf -- it's extraordinary. 

#13 was worn by Rihanna. 

Many photos, I know -- I just couldn't stop! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    Fascinating! I’ll have to ask my uncle. He’s a serious museum goer and our family expert on China... (because he lived in Japan, lol ;) )

  • deb replied 2 years ago

    Oh wow!!! the only place it was in in the US was Georgia. I was hoping for San Francisco.

  • DonnaF replied 2 years ago

    Gorgeous eye candy! But quite a problem if the wearer ever has to go to the bathroom, sit down or ride in a car!

  • Staysfit replied 2 years ago

    Gorgeous! I am not able to pick a favorite because each is so fabulous! It’s fun to imagine a life where I could wear one of these dresses for a few hours!

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    Gorgeous!  Amazing work and interesting story behind the pieces.

  • Column replied 2 years ago

    Extraordinary, Suz. Thank you for the photos AND the insights! I love how fashion, like all art, is also a comment on culture—so I mean the following as a cultural critique, not a political one: I have been convinced, for example, that the high-low mixing trend of the early Obama years in the U.S. (think ripped jeans or tees with Chanel jackets) reflected the economy and was further reflected by the first lady`s early JCrew style choices. One could buy the look at consignment stores. While the return to matchy-matchy pant suits, for example, reflects or anticipates an improved economy, as seen on Melania Trump. Consumers must shell out more $$$ up front, and at retailers, to get the look. Fashion is an expression or response, as you indicate, to the world around us.

  • replied 2 years ago

    I am speechless with delight.  Thank you so much for bringing these beautiful creations to the Forum.  

  • kkards replied 2 years ago

    fasinating....thanks for sharing...

  • Runcarla replied 2 years ago

    Drool! I was wondering if the Ming Vase dress worn by Victoria Becham was by Guo Pei, but see it is from Roberto Cavalli.

  • Helena replied 2 years ago

    Wow, these are absolutely extraordinary. Each one more jaw-dropping than the next. I am fascinated with 21 ... How it's so geometric and organic at the same time ... It looks like a bloom of crystals. Unreal!

  • Bijou replied 2 years ago

    I remember reading this article about #13 - my first introduction to Pei's work. 50,000 hours of work to make that dress - it is a work of art.

    Suz, thank you for posting!

  • suntiger replied 2 years ago

    Just wow :) I read somewhere that Dramatic and Ingenue could not be combined, but this clearly proves them wrong!

  • Elizabeth P replied 2 years ago

    OMGosh Suz, thank you for posting this!  Fantastic. 

  • Janet replied 2 years ago

    Wow! I would love to see that in person.

  • lyn67 replied 2 years ago

    Wow, this is art for sure, thanx for posting us all these gorgeous picties-she is exceeding all my dreams or imagination and are rather futuristic to me not only as of visuals but of actual realisation, too-so extraordinary, indeed!

  • anne replied 2 years ago

    Amazing - thanks for sharing Suz

  • Sara L. replied 2 years ago

    Wow, I would love to see this in person, but I'm so thankful you took pictures to post.  Her creations are so beautiful and intricate.

  • JAileen replied 2 years ago

    These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

    I remember going to an art exhibit years ago with many types of Chinese art forms. What really got me was embroidery that didn’t have a wrong side. Both sides were the right side.

  • Runcarla replied 2 years ago

    Thanks again, Suz, for sharing. While trying to find out if the show will come to TO (don't know yet, but will be in Santa Ana 9March - 14July, 2019) I found this...

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    Immaculate Artistry. Very impressive. 

  • Helena replied 2 years ago

    An article about Rihanna wearing the dress ... if anyone could put on a gown like that and not be completely upstaged by it, it's her:

  • nemosmom replied 2 years ago

    Wow, those are all breathtaking! Thank you for sharing the photos and story so we could experience it through you! Stunning.

  • Dana replied 2 years ago

    WOW!!! what a fab exhibit!! Goodness, you are a little shutterbug ! I didn't take that many photos at the Dior exhibit but I do have plans to go again. 

  • karen13 replied 2 years ago

    Lucky you! I wish it were coming near me so I could see it in person,. But at least I got to see it through your photos. Thank you!

  • Joyce B replied 2 years ago

    So beautiful and look at those booties!
    Thank you for sharing with us, Suz. I will keep the exhibit in mind.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing my enthusiasm! I only wish I could convey the textures better. Every woman at the exhibit was just itching to touch the dresses, but of course we restrained ourselves. 

    Carla and Bijou and TG, thank you for those links -- I will follow up! 

    Column, that is such an interesting and astute observation. I had not thought of it that way but you are very likely right. 

    Helena, that really was a dress made of a crystal! I'm not sure exactly what the skirt was made of (plastic?) because I couldn't touch it, but that one appeared to be hard and firm. It may have been silk on wires, treated with something to stiffen it. 

    And yes, imagine trying to use the bathroom in one of these! Some were real dresses for real people, though, and we also watched a video of the models on the catwalk. I do admit they looked a bit terrified as they walked in those shoes! 

  • Gaylene replied 2 years ago


    Think I’ll need to take a ferry to the mainland this week... thanks, Suz!

  • Leslie replied 2 years ago

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • shevia replied 2 years ago

    Stunning! Thank you for taking us with you!

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    This makes me want to get out an embroidery hoop and silk thread! What gorgeous clothing! I hope this show will come to Denver

  • Cardiff girl replied 2 years ago

    Wow,how totally fabulous are these pieces,almost unbelievable in the amount Of skill and work that has gone into them.Thank you so much for sharing!

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