Chinese designer aims at int'l market

Updated: 2013-02-25 14:08

By Mark Graham (China Daily)

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Chinese designer aims at int'l market

Guo Pei has plans to introduce more ready-to-wear pieces including bridal outfits. Photos Provided to China Daily

Fashion designer Guo Pei has made a name for herself among China's celebrity set, but is now looking for global success, she tells Mark Graham.

Chinese designer aims at int'l market

Meet Barbie's much older Chinese sisters 

Chinese designer aims at int'l market

Glamorous gams 

Chinese designer aims at int'l market

Tailored for tots 

China's most flamboyant designer, Guo Pei, whose outrageously extravagant gowns are much sought after by movie stars and socialites, aims to make an international impact in the near future. Beijing-based Guo is famous in her native country for producing her signature gowns, one-offs that can cost up to $50,000 a pop. Among her clients have been A-list stars such as Li Bingbing and Zhang Ziyi.

The sometimes-bizarre couture confections of the design maestro have even come to the attention of razzle-dazzle-loving Lady Gaga, who made inquiries about commissioning a Guo garment. A collaboration is planned with Italian haute couture textile designer Angelo Sesana to develop chinoiserie fabrics.

Fashion writers from overseas have also been flattering, prompting Guo to look outward. Recently, she has been featured in the New York Times magazine and on the Fashion Wire Daily website.

"I hope people in Paris, New York and London can appreciate and like my work," says Guo, 45. "In five or 10 years, I think we will get more international attention on Chinese fashion."

Guo has a style that is unmistakable. Inspirations for her creations can come from disparate sources including bullfighting outfits, imperial gowns and Hollywood fantasy movies. The intricacy of the embroidery and beading work on each special order can require up to a year of work.

"I like garments that are very elegant and classic and have a lot of detail," she says. "I am like an author with my clothes, I like to tell a romantic story, a fairy tale. I get my inspiration from many sources. Watching the Tim Burton movie about the bride who died, and came back to life in the moonlight, wearing a beautiful dress, was one source. From movies like that you can see the meaning of life and how precious it is.

"On a visit to Paris, I saw Napoleon's costumes in a museum and that really gave me ideas also."

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