GUO PEI: A Letter from a Pioneer
September 9, 2016
By Marcellous L. Jones
Photos Courtesy of Guo Pei
Paris, France – In her second showing as an officially invited member to the closed ranks of Paris’s haute couture elite, the Chinese queen of couture — Madame Guo Pei — seems to compose a letter. In it, we find her expressing her intent to deepen the possibilities of couture by adding her cultural roots into the designs.
The collection is rich with bold colors such as red, purple, blue, gold and deep emerald green. Guo Pei employs them in the variety of shapes that are seen in the collection. Silk, sequins, sheers and velvets are the materials used to express the color palette. Feathers, fur and embroideries are used to embellish the looks.
The disturbing thing about this collection is that the designer’s work seems to not be extremely cohesive. There is no single dominant theme emerging. Of course one is needed in order to accurately quality the work as a “collection”. Without one, the collection seems more like a display of dresses pulled from many different inspirations.
Like the slew of couturiers who poured into Paris from Lebanon to establish themselves during the mid to late 1990s, Guo Pei is going to have to moderate the overall aesthetics of her work. In order to attract a Western clientele, she is going to have to soften certain of the Chinese dress codes. This will certainly give a new dimension to her work that is by all accounts, traditionally beautiful.