Fashion in Hong Kong and China

Guo Pei, who designed that Rihanna dress, makes Paris couture splash

Fashion designer the West discovered when singer wore stunning yellow dress to 2015 Met gala shows a collection of classic silhouettes embellished with sumptuous Chinese embroidery

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 January, 2016, 6:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 January, 2016, 4:52pm

Until Rihanna wore a spectacular yellow-embroidered, fur-trimmed dress and cape to the Metropolitan Museum gala in May 2015, the name Guo Pei meant nothing to the West’s fashion crowd. Despite the designer being widely known in Asia, having dressed Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, worked in Chinese opera and operated a large couture atelier in Beijing, Guo had stayed under the radar. Not any more. And this week she showed a stunning collection on the haute couture catwalks of Paris.

A stunning gold lace gown, paraded by a model with a golden dragon tattoo, opened a show inspired by the mythical phoenix. The collection was a remarkable illustration of the embroiderer’s art and of modern design. Lavish silver and gold Chinese embroideries and silk tassels decorated boleros, tabards, bibs and belts.

Guo believes it is her responsibility to convey China’s traditions and its past through her designs as well as redefining couture in China today. She cleverly concentrated her artistry on pieces that could be worn on her pretty pastel and mandarin yellow dresses, or removed and worn separately.

The full-skirted dresses, the flared trousers, the gauzy evening dress and matching coat and the ball skirts were classic Western silhouettes, but the embroideries were a sumptuous expression of Chinese craftsmanship.