Where's my Damn Tea: A design from Guo Pei's "Arabian 1002Th Night" Haute Couture Fashion Show, BeijingRecently, while doing my weekly (fashion) reading--I came across this Couture Gem, thanks to NY Times Fashion Critic and Writer Cathy Horyn: Last week, in the T Magazine Blog for NYTimes.com article "Year of the Couturière", she spotlighted Chinese Couturier Guo Pei.
Who is Guo Pei? Guo Pei has been designing Haute Couture in Beijing China, through her Atelier "Mei Gui Fang", or Rose Studio for over ten years. All the creations in Guo’s studio are made entirely by hand and they take hundreds or sometimes tens of thousands of hours, to create. When she began her Atelier, she had to teach her seamstresses in the French Art of Haute Couture in order to create her intricate creations. Her workers weren't used to the unusual pattern-making, draping and fabric manipulations which Guo Pei required. But from the looks of these gowns, I think they've learned!
Last November, she showed her Spring/Summer 2010 Haute Couture Collection entitled "Arabian One Thousand and Two Nights" where Guo Pei showcased 16 Works of Haute Couture Art. The entire show lasted 76 minutes (most fashion shows run just under 15 minutes). The ensembles were KRAZEEEE!!! She even flew out 78 year old SUPER SUPER Model, Carmen Dell'Orefice to model in her show, decked out like a Ming Empress from a Gay Man's Dream! Lord knows who payed for all of it. Not sure she's making enough of an income to mount such a multi-million dollar show--flying out Miss Dell'Orefice and having her walk in your show can set you back an easy $20,000 alone--but whoever is backing Guo Pei, please keep doing it!
Her works feature many factors of Chinese culture but, at the same time, still retain a Western elegance, directionality and sensibility that has garnered the obvious comparisons to the late Alexander McQueen as well as John Galliano.
Pei, also designed costumes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including the gown worn by singer Song Zuying (seen above) when she performed at the Closing Ceremonies with tenor Placido Domingo. The gown had 200,000 hand-encrusted Swarovski crystals! The designer has become quite the hit with all the A-List Chinese actresses like Zhang Ziyi, as well as all those girlfriends of the newly-minted multi-millionaires in that country who can afford her one-of-kind creations.Carmen Empress: Model Carmen Dell'Orefice at the Guo Pei "Arabian 1002Th Night" Haute Couture Fashion Show, Beijing
No detail was left unnoticed--from the set, the hair, the make-up, the buffed "Boys-In-Waiting" to even the footwear, of course. These Platform Bootie Pumps (above) make Alexander McQueen's infamous "Armadillo Shoes look like kid-stuff!!In addition, when seeing the video below, all I kept thinking was: Lady Gaga. However, if you read HERE (and in the T Magazine article), it seems that Guo Pei could care less if the biggest star in the Universe wears her creations, or not. How do you say "Ouch!" and "Snap!" in Mandarin??? Well, enough of all that, let's just take a look at THAT UNBELIEVABLE show: Watch the edited--but still AWESOME--Gui Pei Haute Couture "Arabian 1002TH Night" Fashion Show: