We ‘foresee’, so we ‘encounter’. Guo Pei plays with words (‘forsee’ and ‘encounter’ have the same pronunciation in Chinese), putting faith in her dreams and calling her Fall/Winter 2016 couture collection ‘Encounter’.
China’s leading designer showed 29 pieces in Paris – each one a work of maximalist glamour and highlighting Guo Pei’s love of traditional elements including embroidery, lace and a dragon pattern theme.
For her second couture show in the fashion capital she took a dramatic turn, introducing technologically advanced materials in the form of shimmering fringing and resin discs -all hand-stitched in the time-honoured couture way. “I combined these futuristic materials with traditional artisanal handcrafts”, said Pei backstage after the show. “That’s my ‘encounter’, it’s a different visual aesthetic”.
Pei said she was inspired by the ‘Manus x Machina’ exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which centered on fashion in the age of technology. “I think we should accept that technology and handcrafts will lead in the future. This is the idea that underpins my show. It’s an encounter where the past meets the future”.
The high tech materials, their shimmer bouncing off reflective walls – and her vision of the future – resulted in a show where every gown was full of symbolism: as white and pure as snow; as black and vicious as the night; as blue and tolerant as the ocean; as red and angry as fire; as gilded and proud as gold. “Encounter” is to smash, to burst, to fuse, and create a ‘no nuance’ world.
Pei referenced the ‘dragon’ throughout the collection, for the second time.
Unlike her 2012 show when ‘The Legend of Dragon’ collection symbolized the royal power in ancient Chinese culture, here the dragon was merely an embroidered pattern. “Why can’t the dragon be presented as a simple beautiful pattern like a flower or a butterfly on haute couture gowns?”, she commented.
“If you feel wonderful about this show, that’s because there are so many different encounters,” said Pei. “Light encounters darkness, reality encounters the dream, the traditional encounters the future”.
Pictures : Brandie Raasch Writer: Xinxian Su
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