Global Times - 01.08.2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1

20 Thursday August 1, 2019


LIFE


been able to establish Guo Pei
haute couture,” she said.
Guo said she trained her
embroidering workers by having
them embroider a fi gure of the
Buddha. These employees could
only start embroidering clothing
after they were able to produce
a Buddha fi gure that looked at
peace.

‘Just doing what I like’
“Many people said I am repre-
senting Chinese design, but for
me, I think this is too heavy an
honor. I am just doing
what I like,” Guo
said, smil-
ing.

She noted
that quali-
fi ed clothing
designers do not
beg celebrities to
wear their clothes to
gain a reputation. On
the contrary, she noted that
stars will come of their own voli-
tion if they truly like a designer’s
work.
At the China-themed New York
Met Gala in 2015, Barbadian sing-
er Rihanna captured the spotlight
when she appeared on the red
carpet wearing a gorgeous
yellow gown
designed by
Guo.

By Chen Xi

A


s the most famous clothes
designer in China’s haute
couture industry, Guo Pei
continues to shine with her mar-
velous and glorious designs.
“I am a lucky woman because
I am doing what I am passionate
about. I want to keep designing
clothes when I am in my 50s or
even 90s,” Guo told the Global
Times on Friday, her eyes shining
with excitement.
Born in Beijing in 1967, Guo
became interested in clothing as a
child. She often helped her mother
make clothes. After graduating
from Beijing Second Light Indus-
try School with a degree in fashion
design in 1986, she kept exploring
the professional fi eld and set up
her own business, the Rose Stu-
dio, in 1997, becoming a pioneer
for China’s Haute Couture. In
2016, she became the fi rst Asian
guest member of the Chambre
Syndicale de la Haute Couture and
was listed as one of Time’s 100
Most Infl uential People later that
year.

Sudden realization
“I initially designed ready-to-
wear garments for large-scale
production, and did not do private
custom clothes until one customer
asked me to help her design an
outfi t. I was a bit reluctant at fi rst
because I thought the clothes I
designed were for many people
and now I was going to use my
talent for only one person, which
was a waste. However, when I saw
my customer’s temperament had
improved after she wore my cloth-
ing, I was so pleased and realized
I was doing a very meaningful
thing – improving my customer’s
image. This was a diff erent kind
of joy than what I got designing
mass-produced garments. Gradu-
ally, I began to take private orders.
At the time, I didn’t think about it
as haute couture, I was just fol-
lowing my heart and enjoying
making my customers look
beautiful and gorgeous.
After designing a number
of outfi ts and gaining a
lot of experience, I re-
alized that I was in the
fi eld of haute couture,”
Guo said.
Guo said her
success in haute
couture was due to
her effi cient and
supportive team.
“Without my
team, I would
not have

The image
of Rihanna
captured the
attention of the
audience and me-
dia, spawning viral
memes on Western
social media.
“That was the fi rst time I got
to feel how powerful social media
and celebrities’ infl uence on the
public can be,” Guo said.
She told the Global Times that
the yellow gown she designed
took her team numerous hours to
make.
“I did not how to improve
the design anymore. I wouldn’t
change the design for anyone
because it is perfect in my heart,”
Guo said.
“Some people ask me if I have
a favorite work after designing so
many clothes. I think they do not
know me, because as a designer all
the clothes I have designed are like
my babies, and it is very diffi cult
for a mother to choose which baby
she likes the most,” she said.

Moving forward
“I feel very pleased that I am
helping China’s haute couture
become known to the world and
gradually convincing the world
that haute couture is not only
clothes but also a kind of art,” Guo
said.
She said she just signed a
contact with Sotheby’s, one of the
world’s largest brokers of fi ne and
decorative art, jewelry, real estate
and collectibles, to have clothes
designed by Rose Studio sold at
auction.
“This is the fi rst time that
clothing has been auctioned as
artworks, which means my idea
that designing clothes is designing
art is being accepted by the world,”
Guo said, going on to say that after
her fi rst solo show, many of her
friends asked her to make busi-
ness attire, but she insisted that
the haute couture she designed
should be art.
After years of persistence and
eff ort, professionals in the haute
couture fi eld have come to
recognize the idea, which has
in turn elevated the position
of haute couture.
“I just want more people
to know about clothing
design. As a kind of art-
work, it does not have a
border. Everyone can en-
joy its beauty because
my designs are also a
language, touching
people’s souls,” she
said.

Clothing


as art


u An interview with


China’s queen of haute


couture: Guo Pei


Page Editor:
liuzhongyin@
globaltimes.com.cn

Models display
Guo Pei’s designs
Photo: Courtesy of
Rose Studio
Top: Guo Pei
Photo: Li Hao/GT
Free download pdf