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!