Fashion designs became art masterpieces for the first time at the Vancouver Art Gallery in an exhibition that was dedicated to the art of fashion. In collaboration with Atlanta’s SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion and Film, the gallery presented the premiere of Guo Pei: Couture Beyond, featuring over forty stunning designs by China’s prominent couturière.
Guo’s innovative and intricate silhouettes seamlessly combined modern design with pre-republic luxury and are full of symbolism. Guo is renowned for combining the rich aesthetic tradition of Chinese garments with contemporary designs and achieved incredible heights being the only Chinese national designer to join the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
Her portfolio of magnificent designs includes the cape famously worn by Rihanna at the 2015 Met Gala – an imperial yellow garment made using fifty-five pounds of embroidered silk and a boasting a breathtaking five-meter train.
The exhibition, Guo Pei: Couture Beyond follows the evolution in the designer’s work over a decade and includes highlights from her early collections such as Samsara (2006), An Amazing Journey in a Childhood Dream (2008) and 1002 Nights (2010). Continuing with numerous detailed works from Guo’s collections designs from her Legend of the Dragon (2012) collection animate motifs of the mythical dragon – a prominent figure in the Chinese zodiac.
Guo’s critically lauded Paris Collections, Encounter (2016) and ornate garments drawing inspiration from the Cathedral of Saint Gallen, Switzerland, in Legend (spring 2017) conclude the shimmering exhibition.
“With works by one of the fashion world’s game-changing icons, Guo Pei: Couture Beyond marks the first time the Gallery is presenting an exhibition focused on the intersection of art and fashion as a dimension of visual culture. Guo’s pursuit of excellence is unmistakable in every stitch of her creations. Each of her designs is a masterpiece and feat of craftsmanship that will undoubtedly captivate fashion-savvy visitors and art-lovers alike in this Canadian premiere,” said Kathleen S. Bartels, director of the Vancouver Art Gallery.