Aiming for the A-list

Updated: 2013-02-08 09:12

By Mark Graham (China Daily)

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Aiming for the A-list
Guo Pei says she is like an author telling fairy tales with clothes. Photo Provided to China Daily

Currently, almost all the items Guo makes annually are at the couture end of the fashion spectrum, but she has plans to introduce more ready-to-wear pieces including bridal outfits.

The fancy togs Guo currently makes are certainly not items that could be worn to the office. Among her more exotic creations have been a Chinese blue porcelain-print dress, with long train and fan-like head-dress; a shimmering, beaded outfit with sleeves like upside-down traffic cones; and a skirt with three tiered levels paired with a bolero top.

For one collection, she flew in septuagenarian model Carmen Dell'Orefice from New York to model a jeweled gown that was so heavy it needed a two-man escort to bear the weight, and two boys to help carry the train. Other gowns included a Japanese geisha-style creation with embroidered dragons, a yellow fur coat with matching gold boots that appear to have been inspired by the Apollo moon-landing missions and sultry scarlet frocks that would not look out of place in a Wild West bordello.

Until now, Guo has largely been famous in China, but that may change, as her international profile rises. Recently, she has been featured in the New York Times magazine and on the Fashion Wire Daily web site.

Writer Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily saw Guo's work for the first time at a show in Beijing, and was amazed at the clothes - and surprised by the tepid reaction from the audience. "In Paris or New York she would have got a two-minute standing ovation, and merited every clap," he wrote. "Everything about the show was impressive, except maybe the audience.

"There were hints of Galliano and McQueen, but Guo Pei very much does her own thing, from the traditional wooden heeled shoes that morph into red carpet platforms to the exquisitely-finished Chinoserie beading and embroidering.

"Think Salvatore Dali gets to direct a remake of Sofia Coppola's royalist apologia Marie Antoinette. Guo Pei can also cut a mean suit - a series of midnight blue jackets and boleros with sky blue embroidery and extended chiffon fringes showed she is a great tailor."

For China Daily

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